Eredivisie vs Ligue 1

Eredivisie vs Ligue 1 – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve been following the top leagues in Europe you may have noticed that there are a few popular ones including the Eredivisie and Ligue. 

How are these two competitions different? 

Here’s what you need to know:

Average salary in Europe x
Average salary in Europe
The difference between Eredivisie and Ligue 1

The Eredivisie is the premier football division in the Netherlands contested by 18 of the country’s best teams. Meanwhile, Ligue 1 on the other hand is contested by 20 teams from France’s top tier.

Here’s a further comparison between the two leagues:

Number of teams involved

The Eredivisie has 18 teams contesting in the league. This is lower than France’s Ligue 1 and other top European leagues that use 20 teams in their top division, such as:

The Bundesliga is the only one of the other top 5 leagues to use 18 teams.

Origin of teams 

The teams in the Eredivisie originate from the Netherlands while teams in Ligue 1 are from France. 

Here are some of the top teams that play in these leagues:

EredivisieLigue 1
AjaxParis Saint Germain 
AZ AlkmaarAS Monaco
PSV EindhovenOGC Nice
Vitesse ArnhemOlympique Lyon

Since both of these countries are UEFA nations, the teams from these countries will be able to participate in the Champions League.

Frequency and duration of competitions 

Both competitions have a similar schedule, where they start in late August and end in May.

This is similar to the schedule of other top European leagues. 

Both the Eredivisie and Ligue 1 usually go on a 2-week winter break in December and the competition resumes in January. 

Format of competition

Both the Eredivisie and Ligue 1 follow a double round-robin league format. Each team will play against the other teams in the league two times each. 

For the Eredivisie, each team will face each of their 17 opponents twice, making a total of 34 matches. For Ligue 1, there are 20 teams in the league so each team will play 38 games to determine their final position. 

Squad size 

The squad rules for both Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie are unclear.

However, according to Football Manager, there are no squad restrictions for teams in the Eredivisie except there cannot be any U-18 non-EU players in the squad. For Ligue 1, teams cannot register more than 4 non-EU players at the same time

While there are loose rules for the general squad, a maximum of 20 players are allowed in the matchday squad for Ligue 1 and 23 players for the Eredivisie. This must include at least two goalkeepers. 

Qualification for competition

The Eredivisie is competed for by the 18 best teams in the country. To qualify for the competition, your team must earn a promotion from Eerste Divisie, the country’s second tier.

A place in the top two guarantees you promotion, replacing the bottom two teams in the top flight. 

The 3rd placed team in the second division does not earn automatic qualification. Instead, they compete for promotion with the sides who finish 3rd – 8th. These six teams will compete against each other in a mini knockout tournament where 3 teams qualify

The 16th placed team from the Eredivisie joins at this stage to make a 4-team semi-final and the winners of the final earn a place in the Eredivisie. 

If a B team like Jong Ajax or Jong PSV are within the positions 3-8 of Eerste Divisie, they will not take place in the playoffs and the spot will go to the next best team.

This is because B teams can’t be promoted to the Eredivisie!

This is slightly complicated, and you can view how these playoffs work here

For Ligue 1, it is a little more straightforward. The bottom two teams from Ligue 1 give way to the top two teams from Ligue 2. The 17th placed team in Ligue 1 then have a playoff game against the third-placed team in Ligue 2 to decide who plays in the top flight in the next season.

UEFA competitions placing

Your team will be eligible to qualify for UEFA competitions based on how well they perform in the league. The qualification is different for both competitions:

PositionEredivisieLigue 1
1Champions League
Group Stage
Champions League
Group Stage
2Champions League
Second Qualifying Round
Champions League
Group Stage 
3Europa League Playoff RoundChampions League Third
Qualifying Round
4Europa Conference
League third round 
Europa League
Group Stage
5European Competitions
Play-offs
Europa Conference
League Play-offs 
6European Competitions
Play-offs
N/A
7European Competitions
Play-offs
N/A

This means that Ligue 1 has more Champions League slots than the Eredivisie.

Rewards for winning competition

Here are the rewards your team will receive for winning either competition:

EredivisieLigue 1
Prize Money Based on performanceBased on performance 
Qualification for
Champions League
YesYes 
Super CupJohan Cruyff ShieldTrophée des Champions

The distribution of prize money in both competitions is based on league position

In the 2020/21 season, the winner of the Eredivisie received €8.93M while the runners-up received €8M

The prize money for winning Ligue 1 is a lot higher due to more lucrative sponsorships and TV rights. The winner of Ligue 1 in 2021 received 60M euros while the runners-up received €48M. 

The winner of both leagues will qualify for the Champions League group stages. They will also qualify for their country’s version of the Supercup.

The super cup is usually the curtain raiser of the new football season. This is played between the winners of the league and the cup of that particular country. 

Here is the French version of the Super Cup: Trophée des Champions. The Ligue 1 winners will play against the Coupe de France winners in this match.

You can find out more about how the Super Cup works by reading this guide on the FA Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup. 

Dominance of teams 

In this section, we will be looking at the past winners of these two leagues since the start of the 11/12 season:

EredivisieLigue 1
Ajax (5)Paris Saint Germain (7)
PSV Eindhoven (3)AS Monaco (1)
Feyenoord (1)Lille (1)
Montpellier (1)

Monaco’s 2017 Ligue 1 Championship victory over PSG is one of the biggest upsets in recent football history. Their squad had young talents like Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, and Thomas Lemar. 

There have only been 9 winners of the Eredivisie in the last 10 years. This is because the 19/20 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Champions League performances

In this section, we will see how the clubs from these leagues have performed in the Champions League. This is the best indicator of how well the league is as a whole since the Champions League is a competition between the best European clubs. 

These are the semi-finalists over the last 5 years to come from either league:

EredivisieLigue 1
2020/202101 (PSG)
2019/202002 (PSG, Lyon)
2018/20191 (Ajax)0
2017/201800
2016/201700

Ligue 1 takes the edge here by producing two more semifinalists (3) compared to the Eredivisie (1).

Verdict 

Here is a summary of the comparison between the two leagues:

EredivisieLigue 1
Number of teams1820
Origin of teamsNetherlandsFrance
FrequencyAnnuallyAnnually
Duration10 months10 months
FormatDouble round-robinDouble round-robin
Number of Matches3438
Squad sizeNo non-EU under-18 playersMaximum 4 non-EU players
QualificationTop 2 from Eerste Divisie
16th in Eredivisie has playoff with the best 6 in Eerste Divisie
Top 2 teams from Ligue 2
3rd in Ligue 2 has a play-off with 18th in Ligue 1
Prize moneyBased on positionBased on position
Champions League spots23
Qualification for Champions LeagueYesYes
Qualification for SupercupJohan Cruyff ShieldTrophee des Champions
Dominance of teams Mainly AjaxMainly PSG
Champions League Performances (semi-finals)1 semi-finalist  in the last 5 years5 semi-finalists in the last 5 years

Conclusion

Eredivisie and Ligue 1 are two popular leagues in the European footballing season. 

Based on Champions League performances and popularity, Ligue 1 takes the slight edge.

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