Groundhopper Guide to Lille Olympique

Carter Lawson · Profile
Groundhopper Guide to Lille Olympique

Lille basically came out of nowhere to win Ligue 1 in 2021, leaving many folks to wonder just who they are. Groundhopper Guides has it all here.

Well, here is our Groundhopper Guide to Lille Olympique.

(Above image by Liondartois, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Location: Lille, France, in the north near Belgium

Contact:, 0820252627, N/A

Nicknames: Les Dogues (the Mastiffs), Les Nordistes (The Northmen)

Lille History

Prior to WWII, Lille had two professional clubs, Olympique Lillois and SC Fives. Both clubs had their own success stories, with Olympique Lillois winning a league title in 1932, and both clubs reaching the Coupe de France final during their early years. Due to financial difficulties caused by WWII, a merger between the two clubs was made official in 1944 under the new name Lille Olympique Sporting Club.

The newly created team won a domestic double in their second season, winning the league title and the Coupe de France. The club would repeat their cup win in 1947 and 1948, making it 3 in a row. The club won another domestic double again in 1954, and won the Coupe de France again the following year.

Things began to decline in 1956, when the club was relegated for the first time. This led to some financial difficulties, which resulted in the club selling a number of players. For the next decade, the club would bounce between division 1 and 2 and would continue to have financial problems that hindered the clubs performance. This culminated in 1969 when Lille was forced to abandon its professional status and dropped into the amateur leagues. They did manage to get back to division 2 after a few seasons, but began their cycle of promotions and relegations again during the 1970s.

After some tumultuous years, Lille finally reached the top flight again in 1978, where they would remain for another 22 years. During this time Lille was a very average mid-table team and during the 1990s financial troubles again began to plague the club, ultimately resulting in their relegation in 1997. However, they turned things around and dominated Ligue 2 during the 1999-2000 season, giving them promotion back to Ligue 1. Their first season back in Ligue 1, the club qualified for European competitions for the first time in its history, a feat they had been chasing throughout the 80s and 90s.

In 2011, led by home-grown products Yohan Cabaye and Eden Hazard, Lille won the clubs second ever domestic double, securing a league title and winning the Coupe de France over PSG. In 2020, Lille had a great season finishing in second place and qualifying them for the Champions League for the first time in 7 years. In 2021, Lille won its fourth Ligue 1 title and went on to win its first Trophée des Champions defeating PSG prior to the 2021-22 season.

2022-23 SEASON: 5th in Ligue 1, Coupe de France Round of 16

2023–24 SEASON: Ligue 1, UEFA Europa Conference League quarterfinals.

Lille Rivalries

Lille’s main rivalry is with Lens, games between the two are known as Derby du Nord because both clubs are located in the northern region of France. The two are the most successful clubs in the region and first met in 1937, and due to the close proximity of the clubs (25 miles) and polarizing social views from opposing supporters, it quickly became a fierce rivalry. Lille leads in both the overall record and in trophies won.

Lille Women’s Team

The women’s team of Lille OSC was founded in 2005 and originally played in the second division on French football, until 2017 when they were promoted to the top flight. The club plays its home matches at Stadium Lille Métropole.

Lille Stadium

Lille moved into its current stadium, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, in 2012. The project for a new stadium was formed when their old stadium did not meet UEFA standards, which prevented them from hosting European games. The stadium was built with a retractable roof in order to host a variety of different events, including Euro 2016 games and Rugby World Cup games in 2023.

Lille Tickets

Groundhopper Guides offer tickets to all Lille home games. Visit our Lille ticket page for more information, or fill out the form below to get a quote for any home game.

Written By Carter Lawson
Carter Lawson, Content and Social Media Director · Profile

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