historic feat of Brest which qualifies for the Champions League – Libération

Champions League file Winners of Toulouse (3-0), this Sunday, May 19, the Bretons will participate for the first time in their history in a European Cup. An unexpected and extraordinary performance, which the players and supporters celebrated until the end of the night.

At the end of a historic season, the most sumptuous in its history, Stade Brestois won this Sunday, May 19, its direct qualification for the Football Champions League, the most prestigious of European competitions. Winners in Toulouse, three goals to zero, the Bretons took advantage of Lille’s poor performance against Nice (2-2) to get on the podium on the last day of the Championship. Led for fifty-five minutes on their lawn, the northern club has long given hope to the Brestois who began to believe in it even more when they opened the scoring with a superb strike into the top corner from midfielder Mahdi Camara at the start of the game. second half-time.

After Les Dogues equalized against Nice (55th minute), third place for striker Romain Del Castillo’s teammates was hanging by a thread. They then thought they would lose everything when, a quarter of an hour from the end, Benjamin André gave Lille the advantage. The deliverance finally came from Nice’s equalizer, which, in added time, literally set Brest’s penalty area on fire at the Toulouse Stadium. The players waited in a circle on the pitch for the outcome of their direct competitor’s match, then they celebrated with their supporters for long minutes, arm in arm, their first participation in a European Cup.

“Football is often like love”

“I’m so proud of these kids, so happy for my staff. These are difficult emotions to describe. Even as a player I had never experienced this kind of emotion. This is why we love football,” enthused Brest coach Eric Roy at the end of the match. “Football is often like love: it has its reasons that reason ignores and that’s a bit of what we experienced throughout this season which defies all predictions. We did it. It’s pretty incredible,” he continued. Fifteenth budget in the Championship (out of 18 teams), Stade Brestois, which fought last season not to be relegated to Ligue 2, signs with this qualification one of the most resounding exploits of French football in the 21st century.

Paris Saint-Germain, French champion, and AS Monaco, its runner-up, are also directly qualified for the Champions League (which Brest will however not be able to play in its Francis-le-Blé stadium, not up to standard, and will have to probably competing in Guingamp). As for Lille, they can still hope to compete in this competition, but will first have to go through two play-off matches – a perilous exercise, which has not been successful for French clubs in recent years.

OGC Nice, Olympique Lyonnais and RC Lens are qualified for the lower-tier European Cups, the Europa League and the Europa Conference League. FC Lorient and Clermont Foot 63 are relegated to Ligue 2. As for FC Metz, its retention in the elite is conditional on a victory in a play-off match against a Ligue 2 team which will take place on May 30 (then June 2 for the return match). Placed under the line of the fight against homophobia, this Sunday, the last day of the Championship was also marked by the attitude of AS Monaco midfielder Mohamed Camara, who covered up with white tape the logo of the awareness campaign flocked to the players’ jerseys.

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