10 Things To Know: Girondins de Bordeaux

10 Things To Know: Girondins de Bordeaux

Girondins de Bordeaux, we’ve all heard the name and know the badge - but how much do you actually know about the side from the heartland of French winemaking. 

From their hay-day in the 80’s and subsequent star studded resurgences to the fact they are based in a literal castle. We’ve gathered 10 things to know about the club that has played such a crucial role in French football over the last 50 years. Enjoy.


1. Chateau Bel-Air



They might just have the coolest headquarters of any football club in the world. Since 1986 been they have been based at the chateau Bel-Air on the outskirts of Bordeaux. The castle and surrounding 27 acres have been converted to contain weight rooms, training pitches, media rooms, a players restaurant and an academy. 


2. Iconic blue with white chevron


Buy Bordeaux 2011/12 home shirt here.


The club have played in their iconic blue kit with a white chevron since 1939. Having played in blue since the 1919 merger with Guyenne Sport, the chevron was added as and has come to symbolise the Garonne valley, where the club are based. 


3. Aimé Jacquet



The club hit their peak in the 80’s under the tutelage of 1998 World Cup winning manager Aimé Jacquet. After joining the side in 1980 he guided them to three league titles, two French cups and two European Cup semi-finals over the following decade.


4. Claude Bez



The chairman at the time was former treasurer Claude Bez, an eccentric character who quickly established himself as a specialist in signing out of contract players and flipping them to raise funds. His financial wizardry saw players such as Jean Tigana and Patrick Battiston arrive at the club in the early half of the 1980’s.


5. Alain Giresse & Bernard Lacombe



They, together with club legend Alain Giresse and fellow 1984 Euro winner Bernard Lacombe formed the spine of the team that would go on to dominate French football in the 80’s. The undisputed leader of the side was Giresse. Already a ten year veteran of the side by the time the 80’s came around, the diminutive playmaker left the club towards the end of the decade having played an impressive 592 competitive games over the span of 16 years.


6. Zinedine Zidane, Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry



The club would again rise to prominence in the 1990’s with a new wave of stars. 1998 World Cup winners Zinedine Zidane, Bixente Lizarazu and Christophe Dugarry all made their names with the side and were crucial in helping them recover after financial issues saw them drop out of the top flight at the start of the decade.


7. Zidane



Zidane scored arguably the goal of his career for the side in the 1995/96 season, lobbing the Real Betis keeper from 40 yards to send his team through to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup.


8. Lifting their first title since 1987 



In 1998, the year of the French national sides World Cup triumph on home soil, Bordeaux won one of the most dramatic titles in French history. An 89th minute winner against Paris-Saint German lifting them above Marseille by a single point as they lifted the title for the first time since 1987.


9. Manager Laurent Blanc



A decade later and yet another new generation would see Bordeaux reach the pinnacle of French football once again. Manager Laurent Blanc led a side with the likes of star man Yoann Gourcuff, a genuinely good Marouane Chamakh and FIFA legend Benoit Tremoulinas to the league and league cup double.


10. The Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux



In 2015 the side moved onto the 42,000, 183 million euro seater Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the same architects who designed Bayern’s Allianz Arena and converted the Tate Modern. And It’s frankly a masterpiece. With state-of-the-art facilities and one of the richest histories in French football, it’s surely only a matter of time before we see Bordeaux challenging at the very top once again. 



Words by Andy Gallagher

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