FC Metz

Full name Football Club de Metz
Nickname(s) Les Grenats (The Maroons),
Les Graoullys
Founded 1932 (1932)
Ground Stade Saint-Symphorien,
Ground Capacity 25,636[1]
Chairman Bernard Serin
Manager Philippe Hinschberger
League Ligue 1
2015–16 Ligue 2, 3rd (promoted)
Website Club home page

Football Club de Metz, commonly referred to as simply Metz (French pronunciation: [mes]), is a French association football club based in Metz, Lorraine. The club was formed in 1932 and plays in Ligue 1, the highest level in the French football league system. Metz plays its home matches at the Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien located within the city. The team is managed by Philippe Hinschberger.


FC Metz was founded in 1932 by the amalgamation of two amateur athletic clubs, and shortly thereafter became a professional team; it is one of the oldest professional football teams in France. Its roots trace back further, to the SpVgg Metz club, formed in 1905 when the city of Metz was part of the German Empire. SpVgg played in the tier-one Westkreis-Liga for a season in 1913–14, before the outbreak of the First World War stopped all play. Some players of this club were part of the Cercle Athlétique Messin in 1919, which went on to become FC Metz in 1932. Messin was a leading club in the Division d'Honneur – Lorraine, taking out league titles in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929 and 1931.[2]

The club played in the French second division north from 1933, winning the league in 1935 and earning promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time.[3] The team became a mid-table side in the first division until the outbreak of the war interfered with play once more. FCM did not take part in the top-tier regional competitions in 1939–40.[4]

During World War II , the Moselle département being annexed by Germany, the club had to play under the Germanised name of FV Metz in the Gauliga Westmark. In the three completed seasons of this league from 1941 to 1944, the club finished runners-up each year.[5]

Despite the city of Metz being retaken by allied forces in autumn 1944, the club did not take part in French league football in 1944–45 but returned to Ligue 1 in 1945–46, to come 17th out of 18 clubs. An expansion of the league to 20 clubs meant, the team was not relegated and stayed at the highest level until 1950, when a last place finish ended its Ligue 1 membership. Metz was allowed to stay within L1 as a special privilege due to its catastrophic situation in the year following the war: the stadium had been damaged, almost beyond repair. The team had to start from scratch once again.

The club rebounded immediately, finishing second in Ligue 2, behind Olympique Lyon and returned to the first division. FC Metz made a strong return to this league, finishing fifth in its first season back. After this, the club once more had to battle against relegation season-by-season, finishing second-last in 1958 and having to return to Ligue 2. It took three seasons in this league before it could manage to return to Ligue 1 in 1961, but lasted for only one year in the top flight. FC Metz spent the next five seasons at second division level.

FC Metz ascended to the top level of French football once more in 1967; the team remained in the highest division until they were relegated in 2001, although they bounced back immediately and returned to the Ligue 1 the following year. In 2006 they were relegated again, finishing at the bottom of the table, despite the regular presence of an extremely promising prospect, Miralem Pjanic, who would later be transferred to giants Lyon, for an astonishing fee of 7,5 million euros. . In 1998 the team competed in the qualifications to the UEFA Champions League finals but lost in the third round to Finnish team HJK Helsinki. Finally, Metz once finished 18th in Ligue 2 and were relegated to the Championnat National, the third tier of French football after 1–1 draw with FC Tours at home match on 20 May 2012, in very tense circumstances.

FC Metz plays its home matches at the stade Saint-Symphorien, which has a capacity of 26,700. Thus, it is the largest venue dedicated to football in Lorraine. Its official colours are grenat (maroon) and white, from which the team derives its nickname Les Grenats. The team's crest features the Lorraine cross, symbolic of the team's regional affiliation, and the dragon called the Graoully, which in local legend was tamed by Saint Clement of Metz.[6] pr FC Metz also gained recognition in France and Europe for its successful youth academy, which produced star players including: Rigobert Song, Robert Pirès, Louis Saha, Emmanuel Adebayor, Papiss Cissé, Miralem Pjanić, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Sadio Mané. The city's proximity to Luxembourg (about 55 km) plays a significant role in the importation of young prospects. The club's board has close ties with the Luxembourgish Football Federation. Nicolas "Nico" Braun, the team's top all-time goalscorer, as well as Miralem Pjanic or, closer to our times, Chris Philipps, have played in the G-D's amateur leagues before joining "les Grenats". Despite this, not all Luxembourgers enjoy success with Metz, with Robert "Robby" Langers as the best example of that, however.


FC Metz has never won the French championship; its best result was a second-place finish in 1998, behind RC Lens. The title race lasted until the ultimate fixture, however Metz never recovered from a 0-2 loss against Lens on their home turf. Metz won the Coupe de France twice, in 1984 and 1988, the first of these victories enabled it to qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup where it achieved arguably the team's greatest moment, an upset of FC Barcelona in the first round of the competition in October 1984. It lost 4–2 at home in the first leg but won 4–1 away in the return leg, thus qualifying 6–5 on aggregate, making the FC Metz unique among the French teams who have beaten Barcelona at the Nou Camp. FC Metz also won the Coupe de la Ligue twice, in 1986 and 1996, and has made a total of ten appearances in European tournaments.

Runners-up (1): 1997–98
Winners (3): 1934–35, 2006–07, 2013–14
Winners (2): 1983–84, 1987–88
Runners-up (1): 1937–38
Winners (2): 1985–86, 1995–96
Runners-up (1): 1998–99


Current squad

As of 20 September 2016[7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 France GK Thomas Didillon
3 France DF Jonathan Rivierez
4 Serbia DF Milan Biševac
5 Argentina DF Guido Milán
6 France DF Simon Falette
7 France MF Gauthier Hein
8 France MF Yann Jouffre
9 Turkey FW Mevlüt Erdinç (on loan from Hannover 96)
10 Ivory Coast MF Cheick Doukouré
11 France FW Opa Nguette
12 France DF Matthieu Udol
13 France DF Franck Signorino
14 Cameroon MF Georges Mandjeck
16 Japan GK Eiji Kawashima
17 Senegal FW Habib Diallo
No. Position Player
18 France FW Thibaut Vion
19 France MF Florent Mollet
20 France MF Alexis Larriere
21 Luxembourg DF Vahid Selimovic
22 France MF Kévin Lejeune
23 Luxembourg DF Chris Philipps
24 France MF Renaud Cohade
25 Spain DF Iván Balliu
26 Senegal MF Ismaïla Sarr
27 Latvia MF Jānis Ikaunieks
29 Luxembourg FW Vincent Thill
30 France GK David Oberhauser
32 Cameroon DF Benoît Assou-Ekotto
33 France DF Nicolas Basin

On loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
France DF Oumar Gonzalez (on loan to SAS Épinal)
France DF Médéric Deher (on loan to US Avranches)
France MF Lucas Toussaint (on loan to Seraing United)
No. Position Player
Morocco MF Hamza Sakhi (on loan to SAS Épinal)
Burkina Faso FW Moustapha Kaboré (on loan to CS Sedan)

Notable players

Below are the notable former players who have represented Metz in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1932. To appear in the section below, a player must have played at least a full season for the club.

For a complete list of FC Metz players, see Category:FC Metz players

Current technical staff

Position Name
Head Coach Philippe Hinschberger
Assistant coaches Gilles Bourges
Goalkeeping coach Christophe Marichez
Physical trainer Hugo Cabouret
Head doctor André Marie

Managerial history


External links

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