Lyon-Ajaccio: here is the opening poster for the new Ligue 1 season. The kick-off will be given on Friday August 5, at 9 p.m. on the lawn of Olympique Lyonnais. And don’t be surprised, at kick-off, if some of your players no longer have the same number on their backs!
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The numbering of jerseys has indeed been reformed. For the first time, Ligue 1 players could wear the jersey of their choice, up to number 99. We are a long way from number 1 for the goalkeeper and number 9 for a striker. With this new rule, it’s an opportunity to pay tribute to their legend or, for the superstitious, to find their favorite number. PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will thus find the 99 he wore at AC Milan, his year of birth. Ditto for Alexandre Lacazette, back in Lyon with the 91 chasuble.
Others see it as an opportunity to represent their department of origin: Etienne Green, Saint-Etienne porter, recovers the 42 in homage to the Loire for example, and Mamadou Sakho his 75 for Paris, he who spent six seasons at the Paris Saint Germain.
There are also novelties on the side of the calendar. Already with the institution of a French “Boxing day”, on January 1 and 2, 2023. But if this 2023 season is unlike any other, it is because the Football World Cup is organized for the first times in its history in winter. It will take place in Qatar, from November 21 to December 18, 2022.
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The season therefore promises to be disjointed: a first part until mid-November, then a month and a half break and a second part from the end of December to the beginning of June. Usually, the French professional championship only stops for a week, around Christmas.
Such a break is not mandatory. At Stade Brestois, the players will have 15 days of clean break, at the end of November, then four weeks of preparation so as not to lose the rhythm and succeed in the recovery. If some fear a loss of rhythm, and a missed recovery for some clubs, the physical trainer of Brest, Yvon Bourgis, sees this cut in a good light.
“I don’t know if it will always be a bad thing. The Christmas period is very short. Players sometimes come back more tired. This period of 15 days can be a lifesaver to take a real break.”Yvon Bourgis, physical trainer at Stade Brestois
In the clubs where the workforce is the richest, this truce will undoubtedly be easier to manage. Players selected for the World Cup could rest on their return home. To the replacement insurers! Because one thing is certain: with four relegations at the end of the season, every point will count and a bad recovery could put the clubs in danger.