Definition of Le Classique

What is the definition of the term "Le Classique"? What does the term "Le Classique" mean as it applies to the world of football?

Le Classique, or Derby de France, is what the French call a matchup between their two biggest clubs, Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain. The game between Marseille and PSG is much more than a battle on the field. It is a battle of North versus the South. It is the battle between the capital and the province.

The friction between the fans of PSG and Marseille is one for the books.

Le Classique is the most followed football match in France.


The French top league of football has been overshadowed by England, Spain and Germany for some time now, but there are still matches that can garner worldwide attention. One of these matches is what the French call Le Classique.

This matchup between Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which might seem like a strange rivalry considering the history of the two clubs. It first started forming in the 80's, when PSG started challenging for the title against the star-studded Marseille teams. This antagonism only grew when PSG president made accusations of match fixing against Marseille's owner Bernard Tapie.

During the 90's and 2000's, the rivalry only increased as the two French giants repeatedly challenged each other for the title. It soon became the French equivalent to the world famous El Classico in Spain. The early days of the rivalry were dominated by Marseille, with the southern club also winning the league in 2010. However, with the takeover of PSG by Qatar Sports Investments, there has been almost no contest at all. PSG have dominated the French scene, with AS Monaco being the only ones since 2012 to actually win the league.

That hasn't stopped the derby from being heated at times. As of September 2020, Marseille have finally won a game against the Parisians. However, it will mostly be remembered for the closing stages, where 2 Marseille players and 3 PSG players (including superstar Neymar) were sent off due to a flaring up of emotions and accusations of racism.

Clearly even with the odds firmly balanced in one teams favour, Le Classique can still deliver some memorable matches, for one reason or another.