is a football (soccer) club from France.
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Football Club Lorient-Bretagne Sud (; commonly referred to FC Lorient or simply Lorient) is a Football in France club based in Lorient. The club was founded in 1926 and currently play in Ligue 1, the top level of Football in France. Lorient plays its home matches at the Stade du Moustoir located within the city. The team is managed by Christian Gourcuff and Captain (association football) by Goalkeeper (association football) Fabien Audard. Gourcuff formerly played for Lorient and is currently in his third stint as manager of the club.
Lorient had a relatively bleak history nationally prior to 1998 when the club made its first appearance in Ligue 1 in the 1998–99 Division 1. Prior to that, Lorient spent the majority of its life as an amateur club. Lorient's achieved its biggest honour in 2002 when the club won the Coupe de France defeating SC Bastia 1–0 in 2002 Coupe de France Final. Lorient has never won Ligue 1, but has won the Championnat National earning this honour in 1995. Regionally, the club has won five Brittany (administrative region) Division d'Honneur titles and six Coupe de Bretagne.
Lorient has most notably served as a springboard club for several present-day internationals such as Laurent Koscielny, André-Pierre Gignac, Michaël Ciani, Kevin Gameiro, Karim Ziani, Bakari Koné, and Seydou Keita (footballer). France national football team Yoann Gourcuff, the son of Christian Gourcuff, began his career at the club before moving to Derby Breton rivals Stade Rennais F.C.. In recent years the club has developed a reputation because of its commitment to playing a spectacular brand of football and its long-standing trust in coach Christian Gourcuff, a highly regarded tactician in France in spite of his relative lack of fame abroad.
Football Club Lorient was founded on 2 April 1926. Lorient was formed off of La Marée Sportive
, a club founded a year earlier by Madame Cuissard, a store patron who originated from Saint-Étienne, and her son Joseph. The club began play as an amateur club under the Czechoslovakian manager Jozef Loquay and won the Champions de l'Ouest
in 1929, which placed the club into the Division d'Honneur of the Brittany (administrative region) Regions of France. In 1932, Lorient won the league and, four years later, repeated this performance. The onset of World War II limited the club's meteoric rise in the region and the departure of several players who either joined the war effort or left to play abroad effectively disseminated the club.
Following the war, Antoine Cuissard, the grandson of Madame Cuissard, joined the club as a player with intentions of rebuilding it in honor of his grandmother. Lorient began play in the Division d'Honneur. Cuissard began one of the first Lorient players to maintain a place in the France national football team while playing with the club. In 1954, he played on the team that qualified for the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Lorient quickly recovered and, by 1948, was playing in the Championnat de France amateur (CFA). The club spent two years in the league before falling back to the Division d'Honneur. In 1957, Lorient was promoted back to the CFA, but struggled due to being limited financially. The club, subsequently, sought club sponsors with hopes of becoming professional. In 1967, with the club earning promotion to Ligue 2, Lorient, led by clubs presidents Jean Tomine and Fougères decided to realize the dream of becoming a professional club. Incoming president Henri Ducassou agreed to take on the role of attaining professional status.
In the second division, Lorient struggled to consistently stay up in the league table. In the 1975–76 French Division 2, the club came close to promotion after finishing 3rd in its group. However, 1976–77 French Division 2, Lorient was relegated to Division 3. The club, subsequently, struggled financially and domestically and were on the verge of bankruptcy. During this period, Lorient played in the Division Supérieure Régionale in the lower divisions. In the early 1980s, Georges Guenoum took over the club as president and hired former Lorient player Christian Gourcuff as manager. Surprisingly, under Gourcuff, Lorient quickly ascended up the French football ladder. In 1983, the club won the Brittany Division d'Honneur and, in the following season, won Division 4. Gourcuff left the club after its first campaign in Division 3. Lorient spent the next five years in Division 3 playing under two different managers. In 1991, Gourcuff returned to the club and, after almost a decade playing in Division 3, Lorient earned promotion back to Division 2 after winning the second edition of the Championnat National.
Lorient spent two seasons in the second division and, in the 1997–98 French Division 2, surprised many by running away with the league alongside champions AS Nancy. The 1998–99 French Division 1 marked Lorient's first appearance in Division 1 in the club's history. The appearance was brief with Lorient struggling to meet the financial demands and stronger competition of the league. The club finished in 16th place and were relegated. Amazingly, Lorient finished equal on points with Le Havre AC with both clubs having the same amount of wins, losses, and draws. However, due to Le Havre having a better goal difference, Lorient was relegated. After only two seasons in Division 2, Lorient were back in the first division for the 2001–02 French Division 1. Prior to the promotion, in April 2001, a takeover of the club led by Alain Le Roch led to internal problems, which resulted in the departure of Gourcuff and one of the club's best players, Ulrich Le Pen, soon after. The club hired Argentina manager Ángel Marcos to replace Gourcuff. However, Marcos lasted only a few months.
Despite the initial issues, Lorient strengthened its squad in preparation for its return to the first division by recruiting players such as Pascal Delhommeau, Moussa Saïb, Johan Cavalli, and Pape Malick Diop. Led by Yvon Pouliquen, the new signings joined the likes of Jean-Claude Darcheville, Arnaud Le Lan, and Seydou Keita (footballer) and surprised many by reaching the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Lorient was defeated by FC Girondins de Bordeaux in 2002 Coupe de la Ligue Final. Lorient continued its impressive cup form by winning the Coupe de France just two months later. In the match, Lorient faced SC Bastia and defeated the Corsicans 1–0 courtesy of a goal from Darcheville. The title was the club's first major honour. The celebration would however end on a sourer note as Lorient was relegated from league play in the same season.
Lorient returned to the first division, now called Ligue 1, in 2006 with a completely revamped team. Instead of spending money on players, the club focused its efforts on improving its academy and promoted several players to the first-team such as André-Pierre Gignac, Virgile Reset, Jérémy Morel, and Diego Yesso during the club's stint in Ligue 2. Lorient was also influenced by the arrival of the Mali national football team Bakari Koné. The club, in its return to Ligue 1, finished mid-table in three straight seasons. In the 2009–10 Ligue 1, Lorient performed well domestically. In October 2009, the club reached 5th place in the table; its highest position that late in the season ever. Lorient eventually finished the campaign in 7th place; its best finish in Ligue 1.
As of 1 September 2011
Out on loan
Below are the notable former and current players who have represented Lorient in Ligue 1 and international competition since the club's foundation in 1926. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 100 official matches for the club.
For a complete list of FC Lorient players with a article, see :Category:FC Lorient players.
- Fabrice Abriel
- Morgan Amalfitano
- Fabien Audard
- Gérard Bernardet
- Yannick Bonnec
- Marc Boutruche
- Michaël Ciani
- Jean-Claude Darcheville
- Kevin Gameiro
- Benjamin Genton
- Christian Gourcuff
- Christophe Jallet
- Arnaud Le Lan
- Sylvain Marchal
- Roger Marette
- Jérémy Morel
- Stéphane Pédron
- Marama Vahirua
- Yazid Mansouri
- Rafik Saïfi
- Tchiressoua Guel
- Bakari Koné
Management and staff
Senior club staff
- President: Loïc Féry
- General Director: Serge Arguian
- Administrative Director: Fabrice Devillers
- Director of Operations: Rachid Dray
- Director of Development: Fabrice Bocquet
- Security Director: Yannick Gey
- Communications Officer: Simon Rabaud
Coaching and medical staff
- Manager: Christian Gourcuff
- Assistant Manager: Sylvain Ripoll
- Goalkeeper Coach: Patrick L'Hostis
- Fitness Coach: Florian Simon
- Doctor: Vincent Detaille
- Kinesiotherapy: David Le Gall & Régis Bouyaux
- Championnat National
- - Champions (1): 1995
- Coupe de France
- - Champions (1): 2002 Coupe de France Final
- Coupe de la Ligue
- - Runners-Up (1): 2002 Coupe de la Ligue Final
- Trophée des champions
- - Runners-Up (1): 2002
- Division d'Honneur (Bretagne)
- - Champions (5): 1932, 1936, 1957, 1983, 1995
- Coupe de Bretagne
- - Champions (6): 1958, 1970, 1982, 1990, 2000, 2002