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File: Lyon

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Olympique LyonnaisOlympique Lyonnais (commonly referred to as simply Lyon, or OL) (Euronext: OLG) is a French association football club based in Lyon.

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It plays in France's highest football division, Ligue 1. The club was formed as Lyon Olympique Universitaire in 1899, according to many supporters and sport historians, but was nationally established as a club in 1950. The club's most successful period has been the 21st century. The club won its first ever Ligue 1 championship in 2002, starting a national record-breaking streak of seven successive titles. Lyon has also won a record seven Trophée des Champions, five Coupe de France titles and three Ligue 2 Championships.

Lyon has participated the UEFA Champions League 12 times, and during the 2009–10 season, reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time after three previous quarter-final appearances. Olympique Lyonnais plays its home matches at the 40,500-seat Stade de Gerland in Lyon[2]. In 2013, their new stadium will be ready, tentatively named OL Land, in Décines-Charpieu, a suburb of Lyon. The club's home colours are white, red and blue. Lyon was a member of the G14 group of leading European football clubs and are founder members of its successor, the European Club Association.

Olympique Lyonnais is one of the most popular clubs in France. About 11% of the country's population support the club. Lyon shares this number with Paris Saint-Germain and trails only Olympique de Marseille. Lyon holds the honor of being the richest club in the country, having generated an annual revenue stream of €131.9 million for the 2008–09 season. The club's nickname, Les Gones, means "The Kids" in Lyon's regional dialect of Arpitan. The chairman of Lyon is Jean-Michel Aulas and club is managed by Rémi Garde. Olympique Lyonnais also has a successful women's football team having won its league a record nine times. The women's team has also won three Challenge de France titles and the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2011 and 2012.

Historically, Lyon has had a healthy rivalry with fellow Ligue 1 club Saint-Étienne, whom they contest the Derby du Rhône (Rhône derby) with. However, since the club's dominance at the start of the new millennium, they have established rivalries with Marseille, Bordeaux, Paris Saint-Germain, and Lille. Lyon also share minor rivalries with fellow Rhône-Alpes clubs Grenoble and AS Lyon Duchère.

The Saint-Étienne rivalry began during the 1960s when Lyon established permanent residency in the French first division. The Arpitan rivalry stems from both clubs close proximity of each other, separated by just 38 miles, as well as historical social and cultural difference between the two cities where they are based; Lyon cited as being more upper-class, while Saint-Étienne is cited as being more working-class. The derby also pits "the recently most successful French club" (Lyon) against "the formerly biggest French club" (Saint-Étienne) and is often cited as one of the high-points of the Ligue 1 season.

Lyon's rivalry with Olympique de Marseille goes back to 23 September 1945, when the clubs contested their first match. The derby, often called Choc des Olympiques (Clash of the Olympics), is often cited as being particularly important as both clubs are of high standard in French football and the championship is regularly decided between the two. Marseille, Saint-Étienne, Lyon are the only French clubs to have won the French first division four straight times with Marseille doing it on two occasions.

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