Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouameni with France
UEFA Champions League

UCL Links: From Ligue 1 to European Glory

UCL Links: From Ligue 1 to European Glory

UEFA Champions League
Publish on 05/31 at 22:00 - E. DEVIN


Ahead of tomorrow's UEFA Champions League final, we look at the players taking part with roots in French football

Thirty-one years on from Olympique de Marseille’s victory in the first edition of the (then newly rebranded) UEFA Champions League, l’OM remain the only Ligue 1 club to have lifted “the cup with the big ears.” Other teams have come close, with both Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco reaching the final of the competition, but France’s streak without victories will continue regardless of the outcome at Wembley Stadium tomorrow evening.

That doesn’t mean, however, that French football hasn’t had an influence on the match. Here, we take a look at the connections that each side has to France.

Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid — Stade Rennais 2018-21

The Angola-born midfielder took Ligue 1 by storm as a teenager, earning his first cap for France at the age of 17, and he remains a vital piece for Didier Deschamps. Also capable of playing left back, he has been vital for the Spanish side as they’ve managed the departure of Casemiro and the aging of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric

Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid — AC Le Havre 2015-17, Olympique Lyonnais 2017-19

Despite not being a regular for his country, Mendy has impressed since arriving in the Spanish capital, amassing more than 150 appearance and winning every major honor. Called back into the national team following an injury to Lucas Hernandez, Mendy will be looking to win a second European title with Los Merengues.


Aurélien Tchouameni, Real Madrid — Girondins de Bordeaux 2018-20, AS Monaco 2020-22

While the combative midfielder will miss out on the final with a foot injury, he has impressed in both defence and a holding role for the capital side. With AS Monaco, he was part of a formidable partnership with Youssouf Fofana, helping the Principality side be one of Ligue 1’s top sides.

Ramy Bensebaini, Borussia Dortmund — Montpellier HSC 2015-16, Stade Rennais 2016-19

A versatile defender capable playing at left back and centrally, Bensebaini arrived in Ligue 1 with Montpellier before burnishing his reputation with Stade Rennais. A winner of the Coupe de France with the Breton side, the Algerian international then moved to Borussia Monchengladbach before moving to Dortmund last summer.

Sebastien Haller, Borussia Dortmund — AJ Auxerre 2012-15

The Ivorian international has struggled with fitness and the form of Niclas Fullkrug since returning this season returning to the Bundesliga after spells in England and the Netherlands, and won’t feature in the final, but he remains an important piece for Edin Terzic’s team. A product of Auxerre’s academy, Haller was born in France and featured for the eastern side 50 times in Ligue 2.