FC Nantes was a club formed on 21 April 1943 during World War II as a result of several local clubs merging in to create a bigger and better team. The team's nickname – The Canaries reminisces to that of English club Norwich. In France, Nantes is regarded as having one of the best youth academies giving birth to several prominent football stars.
Nantes shares the 3rd spot with Monaco in the most Ligue 1 triumphs chart. Only Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, and Saint-Etienne have managed more league titles. Despite their glamorous past, Nantes has recently been facing a lot of problems connected with their play. They even endured a four-year-long spell in the second tier of French football before returning to the top-flight in 2013.
FC Nantes Transfers
Didier Deschamps to Marseille for £510,000 in 1989 – Deschamps' career began with amateur team Aviron Bayonnais before a Nantes' scout spotted his potential. He joined the Canaries in 1983 and was awarded his first senior squad appearance two years later in 1985. Deschamps needed some time before he became a regular starter, but it happened in 1987. In total, the prolific France International Team manager played in 123 matches for Nantes to start off his career. In 1989 he was sold to Marseille and went on to win the Champions League with them, becoming the youngest captain ever to lift the trophy. This triumph is also the only time that a French team has won the Champions League.
Claude Makélélé from Brest B on a free transfer in 1991 – Makélélé had a long journey and worked very hard before becoming part of Chelsea during the beginning of the Roman Abramovic era. During his youth, he trained at US Melun and Stade Brest academies before being signed by Nantes in 1991. At the time of the transfer, The Canaries' sporting director was extremely fond of Makélélé and exclaimed that he would become one of the best French footballers. He became French Champion with Nantes in 1995 and contributed to reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Despite having a gem on their hands, Nantes allowed him to leave on a free transfer to Olympique Marseille in 1997. He later played for Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and PSG.
Jérémy Toulalan to Olympique Lyon for £7 Million in 2006 – Toulalan is one of the footballers that the Canaries are most proud of bringing up. Born in the city of Nantes, he spent eight years in the club's structures. Playing as a defensive midfielder, it was in the campaign of 2004/2005 when he broke into the first team and started featuring regularly. The same season saw offers mainly from Olympique Lyon flooding in for him. However, Nantes wasn't keen on losing him, and he spent another season with the Canaries. During that time, the pressure mounted on the board as OL had just offloaded some of their key midfielders and viewed Toulalan as a perfect replacement. In the end, he was bought for £7 Million and went on to win a domestic treble with the Kids in 2007/2008.