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Sochaux was founded by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a prominent member of the Peugeot family, and is one of the founding members of the first division of French football. Along with Marseille, Montpelllier, Rennes, and Nice, Sochaux is one of five clubs to have played in the inaugural 1932–33 season and still be playing in the first division today. The club has won both Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France twice and have also won the Coupe de la Ligue. Sochaux's last honour came in 2007 when the club, under the guidance of Alain Perrin, defeated favourites Marseille 5–4 on penalties in the 2007 Coupe de France final. Sochaux's colours are gold, and navy blue.
Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard was founded in 1928 under the name Football Club Sochaux by Jean-Pierre Peugeot, a director of Peugeot, a French car manufacturing company. Peugeot sought to create a football club for the leisure time of the company's workers. He installed Louis Maillard-Salin as the club's first president, and made Maurice Bailly the club's first manager. Bailly was also a member of the team. Sochaux played its first match on 2 September 1928 against the reserve team of local club AS Montbéliard. The club was inserted into the lowest level of league football in the Franche-Comtéregion and played its first league match three weeks later winning 12–1.
Peugeot was among the first to advocate for the professionalisation of French football and, in 1929, went as far as to admit to paying his players, which was strictly forbidden during this time. The subsequent recruitment of several French internationals and players from abroad led to Sochaux gaining a stranglehold on the region easily disposing of local rivals AS Montbéliard and AS Valentigney. In June 1930, Montbéliard decided to merge with Sochaux to form the club that exists today. The following month, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football. With Peugeot being a strong advocate for professionalism, Sochaux were among the first clubs to adopt the new statute and, subsequently, became professional. In the league's inaugural season, Sochaux finished 3rd in its group. The club's final position was later moved to 2nd after Antibes, the champions of the group, was disqualified from the league for suspected bribery.
During war-time, in an effort to survive financially, Sochaux formed an interim merger with local rivals AS Valentigney. The club, known as FC Sochaux-Valentigney, participated in the war-time championships from 1942–1944. Following the conclusion of the war, Sochaux dissolved the merger, turn professional again, and returned to its original name. The club, however, failed to get back to its form prior to the war and, subsequently, made the decision to forgo entering bidding wars for players, which was becoming the norm and, instead, focus on keeping the team's budget even. As a result, in the first season after the war, Sochaux suffered relegation after finishing in last place with only 15 points. Sochaux spent only one season in the second division and returned to Division 1 for the 1947–48 season. The club spent the next 13 seasons playing in Division 1 with its best finish coming during the 1952–53 season when the club finished runner-up to champions Stade Reims. In the same season, Sochaux won its first honour since 1938 after winning the Coupe Charles Drago. In 1959, the club returned to the Coupe de France final, however, the outcome was not in Sochaux's favour, with the club losing to Le Havreon penalties.
In the early 1960s, despite playing in Division 2, Sochaux won the Coupe Drago in back-to-back seasons. The club made its return to Division 1 in 1964, and remained in the league for over 20 years, regularly finishing in the top 10 before falling down to Division 2 in the 1987–88 season. During Sochaux's 24-year run in the first division, the club played in European competitions four times. In the 1980–81 season, Sochaux surprised many by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. In the round, the club was defeated by Dutch club AZ 4–3 on aggregate. The club's successful play during this stint was predominantly due to the creation of the club's academy in 1974, which paid immediate dividends. Player such as Bernard Genghini, Yannick Stopyra, Joël Bats, and Philippe Anziani were among the inaugural graduates who were instrumental in Sochaux's domestic success.
Sochaux supporters celebrating winning the Coupe de France in 2007.
After hovering between the first division and the second division in the 1990s, Sochaux returned to the first division, now called Ligue 1, at the start of the new millennium. The club surprised many by finishing in the top ten in its first three seasons back. Also included in that three-year run was an appearance in the Coupe de la Ligue final and, in the ensuing year, a league cup title. In the 2003 final, Sochaux, led by manager Guy Lacombe and academy graduates Pierre-Alain Frau, Jérémy Mathieu, and Benoît Pedretti were defeated 4–1 by AS Monaco. In the following season, a more-experience Sochaux returned to the final, where the club faced Nantes. In the match, Sochaux defeated Nantes 5–4 on penalties to win its first major title since winning the Coupe Drago 40 years ago. It did not take the club another 40 years to claim its next title as Sochaux were surprise winners of the Coupe de France in the 2006–07 season after defeating Marseille on penalties. Marseille were heavy favorites heading into match, mainly due to its 4–2 thrashing of Sochaux just 12 days prior. However, Sochaux, led by Alain Perrin, stunned the nation and claimed its first Coupe de France title since 1936.
Entrance to the Stade Bonal
Sochaux plays its home matches at the Stade Auguste Bonal in Montbéliard. The stadium was constructed in 1931 and opened on 11 November of that same year. The facility was previously known as Stade de la Forge. In July 1945, the club changed the stadium's name to its current version. It is named after Auguste Bonal, the former sports director of the club, who after refusing to cooperate with the Germans during World War II, was murdered.
The Stade Auguste Bonal has undergone renovations twice: in 1973 and 1997. In 1997, the majority of the stadium was completely overhauled, and practically a new stadium was built. The stadium still hosted matches during the renovation period, but with a limited capacity. The renovation cost ₣114 million, and took nearly three years to complete. The Nouveau Bonal was officially inaugurated on 22 July 2000 in a Trophée des champions match between FC Nantes and AS Monaco. The stadium's current capacity is 20,005.
As of 2 September, 20132 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Below are the notable former players who have represented Sochaux in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1928. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 200 official matches for the club.