Coupe de France history
The Coupe de France was created on 15 January 1917. The competition was open to all amateur and professional clubs, though professionalism in French football at the time was non-existent. The major clubs in France objected to the notion that all clubs should be allowed to enter. However, the federation dispelled their complaints and declared the competition would remain as is. Due to the minimal requirements to enter, the first competition featured 48 clubs. By 1948, the number had increased to 1,000 and at present, the competition features more than 7,000 clubs. Due to the initial increase in clubs, the federation created preliminary rounds beginning with the 1919–20 season. The following season, they added a second preliminary round. As of today, the competition contains eight regional rounds with some regions containing as many as ten.
The competition is usually beneficial to the amateur clubs as it forces higher-ranked clubs, usually professional clubs, to play as the away team when drawn against lower-league opposition if they are competing for two levels below them. Despite the advantages, only three amateur clubs have reached the final since professionalism was introduced in French football in 1932: Calais RUFC in 2000, US Quevilly in 2012 and Les Herbiers VF in 2018. Two clubs from outside Ligue 1 have won the competition, Le Havre in 1959 and Guingamp in 2009.
The cup was open to overseas teams starting in the 1961–62 season. In the 1974–75 season, the Golden Star was the first overseas team to beat a mainland team. The Martinique club beat US Melun 2–1 in the replay after 1–1 in the first game. The Golden Star was then the first overseas team to reach the round of 64. In the 1988–89 season, Le Geldar de Kourou was the first overseas team to reach the round of 32. In the 2019–20 season, JS Saint-Pierroise was the second overseas team to reach the round of 32. In the following season, Club Franciscain was the third overseas team to reach the round of 32.
Coupe de France Records
Paris Saint-Germain has a record of fourteen titles, following the 2020–21 cup result. PSG and Marseille have appeared the most finals, having played in nineteen each. Marseille is one of four clubs that have suffered two consecutive final defeats, the club lost to Paris Saint-Germain in 2006 and then to Sochaux the following season. Due to the early dominance of Parisian clubs during the early run of the competition and along with PSG’s consistency, the Île-de-France region has the most Coupe de France champions, having produced 25. The region is followed by Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, with Marseille being the region’s most successful club.
Managers Guy Roux and André Cheuva share the honour of having managed four Coupe de France-winning clubs. The most successful players are Marquinhos and Marco Verratti, who both won six titles. Éric Pécout of Nantes and Jean-Pierre Papin are joint top scorers of the competition final, having each converted a hat-trick in their only appearances in the final. In 1947, Roger Vandooren scored the fastest goal in the final’s history converting after 29 seconds for his club Lille in their 2–0 win over Strasbourg.