Top 15 Greatest Ligue 1 Players Ever

Who is the best Ligue 1 player of all time?

Ligue 1 is the highest division in the French league football competition. Although its popularity is not as high as Premier League, Serie A, or La Ligue, Ligue 1 starts to get the attention of football fans, especially after the influx of wealthy investors who took over the ownership of several clubs. Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco are two recent examples of clubs which are very popular because they received abundant cash flows from their owner to buy world-class players.

Long before the arrival of those wealthy investors, Ligue 1 has created a lot of interesting stories in the world of football. This competition also constantly produces a lot of great footballers. So, who are the best of player of all time in Ligue 1? Let's find out more about them!

15. Fabien Barthez

Fabian Barthez is a charismatic goalkeeper who led France national team win the World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000. In Ligue 1, Barthez also created great records with AS Monaco and Marseille. He won two Ligue 1 titles with Monaco and one Champions League trophy with Marseille. His individuals achievements are also quite remarkable, in which Barthez twice elected as the best goalkeeper in Europe throughout his career.

14. Alain Giresse

Alain Giresse is a former central midfielder who had a major role in helping France national team win the Euro 1984. At that time, Giresse was part of the "Magic Quartet" consist of Platini, Tigana, Luis Fernandez and Alain Giresse. This player played for Bordeaux for 16 years and ended his career as a professional football player with Marseille. Throughout his career, Giresse three times elected as "The Best French Footballer of the Year."

13. George Weah

George Weah is a retired Liberian striker who is also known as one of the best PSG players of all time. Until this time, he became the only Ligue 1 player to win the Ballon d'Or award. His career in the French league was passed at three different clubs, AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille. His best career period in Ligue 1 was from 1993 to 1995, where he managed to win a league title and two Coupe de France trophies.

12. Luis Fernández

Just like Weah, Fernandez is also a player who is considered a legend of Paris Saint-Germain. In his fifteen-year career as a professional player, Fernandez played for three different clubs: Paris Saint-Germain, RC Paris, and Cannes. He played for French national team 60 times and scored six goals. After his retirement, Fernandez became a coach of PSG for five years and won one Winner's Cup trophy and one French Cup trophy.

11. Josip Skoblar

Josip Skoblar is a retired Croatian striker who played for Marseille in the period 1969-1975. Until now, Skoblar holds the record as the highest scorer in the Ligue 1 in a single season, with a record of 44 goals. While playing for Marseille, Skoblar won the Ligue 1 twice and became three times top scorer of this competition. He also scored 11 goals in a total of 32 appearances for Yugoslavian national team.

10. Sidney Govou

Sidney Govou is a French winger who led Lyon win Ligue 1 for seven consecutive seasons, from 2001 to 2008. This player is known as a versatile and quick winger. He is an original talent developed by Lyon youth academy and made ​​his debut as a first-team player in 2000. Throughout his career with Lyon, Govou played 292 times and scored 49 goals.

9. Jean-Pierre Papin

Jean-Pierre Papin is a retired French striker who is very sharp and well-known for his volley kicks. During his period as a Marseille player from 1986 to 1992, Papin became Ligue 1's top scorer five-times. He also won four French league titles with Marseille. Papin continued his success even when he played outside France, where he helped AC Milan to be the champion of Serie A twice.

8. Just Fontaine

Until now, Just Fontaine still holds the record as a top scorer with the most goal in a World Cup tournament. The record was created in the World 1958 Cup in Sweden, where Fontaine scored 13 goals in that tournament. At club level, Fontaine also won many achievements, especially when he played for Stade de Reims and Nice. He won three Ligue 1 titles and two times became the top scorer of the tournament. His goal records in Ligue 1 is also quite impressive, where he scored 227 goals from 248 appearances.

7. Hervé Revelli

Herve Revelli is a legend of Saint-Etienne where he managed to bring the club win the Ligue 1 seven times in the 1970s. Playing as a striker, Herve is very prolific in scoring. He scored 175 goals in 305 appearances for Saint-Etienne. This player also played for French national team in 30 matches in the period 1965 to 1975 and managed to score 15 goals.

6. Jean Tigana

If Michel Platini is the spearhead of the French attack, then Jean Tigana is a sturdy fortress of the Les Bleus midfield line. Together with Platini, both players were considered the most important figures who led France national team win the Euro 1984. At club level, Tigana successfully helped Bordeaux win three Ligue 1 titles and three French Cup trophies. This player ended his career with Marseille in the 1990-1991 season.

5. Abedi Pele

Abedi Pele is a retired Ghanaian footballer. Many people think that his individual skill is as great as the football legend, Pele. The started his debut in French League with Marseille in 1987. Only lasted for one season, he moved to Lille, until eventually bought back by Marseille in 1990. In this period, Abedi Pele showed his class as a footballer. With his high individual skill, he helped Marseille win the Ligue 1 in three consecutive seasons and presented one Champions League trophy in 1993.

4. Mickael Landreau

Mickael Landreau is former a French goalkeeper who holds the record for the most numbers of appearances in Ligue 1, with a total of 604 appearances. He started his career in 1996 with Nantes, and played for ten years at the club before moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2006. He helped Nantes win Ligue 1 in 2001 and again repeated the same feat while he was playing for Lille in 2011.

3. Juninho

Juninho Pernambucano is an ex-Brazilian playmaker who is often regarded as the best free kicks taker of all time. He was the most important player who led Lyon win seven Ligue 1 titles for seven consecutive years in the period 2001-2008. During his eight years as Lyon's player, he scored 75 goals in 248 matches. Although he showed great performance at club level, Juninho rarely got chances to play for the first-team of Brazilian national team because he couldn't compete with Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, and other Brazilian playmakers.

2. Michel Platini

Michel Platini is often named as one of the greatest football player of all time. He was an attacking midfielder who scored a lot of goals in various international competitions. Before having a successful career with Juventus in the Italian League, Platini also engraved various achievements in Ligue 1. He played for ten years for Nancy and Saint-Etienne from 1972 to 1982. In that period, Platini scored 156 goals in 285 matches. He also won a Ligue 1 title for Saint-Etienne in 1981.

1. Delio Onnis

I believe there aren't many football fans who aware that Delio Onnis is the all-time top scorer of Ligue 1 with a total of 299 goals. Onnis is a tall Argentine striker (with a height of approximately 2 meters) and played in the French League from 1971 to 1986. He became the top scorer in Ligue 1 four times and help AS Monaco win this competition in 1978. One thing that is very surprising, although Onnis played so brilliantly at club level, he had never been called up to represent Argentine national team in the international tournament.

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