Reims - Remembering the great who went to the average

The great times will not return

Reims – Remembering the great who went to the average

French club football has the potential to inspire the writing of many books.

League 1 is the only one of the “five leagues” where we don’t have crystallized big clubs where the dominant teams change over the eras and where a few of them consider themselves to be the biggest.

Olympique Marseille is the only one that can boast the title of European champion and that probably sets it apart from the competition, but it is only third on the list of winners of Ligue 1, with nine cups in its showcases.

PSG is the first with 11 national championship titles, nine of which he took in the current era, when, with the help of Qatari money, he created a team that no one can match. Saint-Etienne took 10 titles, the last in 1981, Nantes and Monaco eight each, and Lyon tied seven of them in its “golden” era in the first decade of the 21st century.

Bordeaux and Reims both have six titles each behind him, and it was the Reims team that first made a breakthrough, dominating in the fifties of the 20th century. They were one step away from becoming European champions, but after winning the domestic title in 1962, they faced a difficult decline.

Rams returned to Ligue 1 in 2013 after 30 years. After 30 years, the club returned to Ligue 1 in 2013, making a remarkable comeback that surprised many. Despite being forgotten, it was Real Madrid’s biggest rival at the European level in the second half of the fifties. After being relegated to League 2 again in 2016, Reims made a comeback and eventually stabilized two years later.

But let’s go back to the fifties…

Rams played in two finals of the European Champions Cup, in 1956 and 1959, and had the misfortune of running into the strongest team of that time, so they failed to win the title of European champion. The French clubs will wait until the first half of the nineties when it finally succeeded for Marseille, which to this day remains the only team from the land of Gaul to win the crown.

Reims’ “golden” years were the fifties when most of the players of that team were also on the French national team, and from 1949 to 1962 they won five national championships. Legendary coach Albert Botto combined speed with incredible talent.

Two successful coaches emerged from that generation, under his umbrella Michel Hidalgo and Aimé Jacques, who won the European Championship in 1984 and the World Cup in 1998 with France.

But by far the best player of that team was , a French Pole and the biggest European star after the Second World War. When he arrived at Reims from Angers, he was earning around £180 a week, when Britain’s leading players were on £2.50. Despite the high salary, he always fought for the rights of other players, claiming that footballers are “slaves”.

Rems led the cup to the finals, beating Denmark’s Aarhus, Hungary’s Vašas and Hibs. Rams led with 3:2, but Real turned around with two goals and made the French cry. To worsen the situation, French club football could be the subject of many books.

League 1 is the only one of the “five leagues” where we don’t have crystallized big clubs where the dominant teams change over the eras and where a few of them consider themselves to be the biggest.

Olympique Marseille is the only one that can boast the title of European champion and that probably sets it apart from the competition, but it is only third on the list of winners of Ligue 1, with nine cups in its showcases.

PSG is the first with 11 national championship titles, nine of which he took in the current era, when, with the help of Qatari money, he created a team that no one can match. Saint-Etienne took 10 titles, the last in 1981, Nantes and Monaco eight each, and Lyon tied seven of them in its “golden” era in the first decade of the 21st century.

Behind him are Bordeaux and Rams with six titles each, and it was the Rams team that first made a breakthrough, which dominated in the fifties of the 20th century, and was one step away from becoming European champions, but after the domestic title was won in 1962, they left in a difficult average.

Rams returned to Ligue 1 in 2013 after 30 years. The club made a successful comeback in 2013 after 30 years, surprising many who had forgotten its history as Real Madrid’s biggest rival in the European level during the second half of the fifties. After getting relegated to League 2 again in 2016, Reims made a comeback and finally stabilized two years later.

But let’s go back to the fifties…

Rams played in two finals of the European Champions Cup, in 1956 and 1959, and had the misfortune of running into the strongest team of that time, so they failed to win the title of European champion. The French clubs will wait until the first half of the nineties when it finally succeeded for Marseille, which to this day remains the only team from the land of Gaul to win the crown.

Reims’ “golden” years were the fifties when most of the players of that team were also on the French national team, and from 1949 to 1962 they won five national championships. Legendary coach Albert Botto combined speed with incredible talent.

Two successful coaches emerged from that generation, under his umbrella Michel Hidalgo and Aimé Jacques, who won the European Championship in 1984 and the World Cup in 1998 with France.

But by far the best player of that team was , a French Pole and the biggest European star after the Second World War. When he arrived at Reims from Angers, he was earning around £180 a week, when Britain’s leading players were on £2.50. Despite the high salary, he always fought for the rights of other players, claiming that footballers are “slaves”.

Rems led the cup to the finals, beating Denmark’s Aarhus, Hungary’s Vašas and Hibs. Rams led with 3:2, but Real turned around with two goals and made the French cry. To make matters worse, Real bought Kopa, and the money from his sale brought in Just Fontaine from Nice, Jean-Vincent Lille and Roger Piantoni from Nancy, so more than half of the national team made up the Reims team.

Kopa will win three European championship titles with Real, but Just Fontaine will score 122 goals in 131 matches for Reims.

He will also become the best scorer of the World Cup in Sweden with 13 goals.

If Kopa had stayed at Reims, the team would probably have reached the biggest titles. This is how they reached another final. Real then celebrated with 2:0, a season before Kopa will return to France.

He came back and, together with his teammates, played the “swan song” of Reims when they won the titles in 1960 and two years later. Kopa continued to play for another five years. Reims suffered relegation in the late seventies, and even temporarily shut down in 1991 to undergo renovations, but then they became amateurs. They are back, and now they are in the first league they will never reach the heights of the fifties.

Kopa will win three European championship titles with Real, but Just Fontaine will score 122 goals in 131 matches for Reims.

He will also become the best scorer of the World Cup in Sweden with 13 goals.

If Kopa had stayed at Reims, the team would probably have reached the biggest titles. This is how they reached another final. Real then celebrated with 2:0, a season before Kopa will return to France.

He came back and together with his teammates played the “swan song” of Reims, when they won the titles in 1960 and two years later. Kopa played for another five years, Reims was relegated at the end of the seventies, and even shut down for a short time in 1991, to renew the work, but then they were amateurs.

They are back, now they are in the first league they will never reach the heights of the fifties.

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