Football Club des Girondins de Bordeaux is a professional football club from France, based out of the city of Bordeaux. Founded in 1881, the club was a gymnastics and shooting club which added other sports, like rowing, equestrian and swimming at a later stage. It wasn’t until 1910 that the club eventually introduced football into list of sports that they offered. It started as a trial but at the end of the year, was suspended.
It wouldn’t be until 1919 that the club would return to the sport and the following season, they defeated Section Burdigalienne, 12-nil, in their first official game. By 1936, FC Bordeaux had turned professional and that came out of the merger with Girondins Guyenne Sport. Their turn to the professional game couldn’t be timed better because the French football association were looking to expand their league system and that immediately gave Bordeaux the opportunity to get into the second division of the league.
Just a year later, Bordeaux would move to the Stade Chaban-Delmas, the home-stadium that still hosts them today. The stadium had been built for the 1938 FIFA World Cup, held in France, and after the tournament was over, it was handed over to Bordeaux.
By the 1940s, Bordeaux had slowly built up its reputation and reached the finals of the 1941 Coupe de France, beating SC Fives, 2-nil, to lift the trophy. Two years later, they would reach the finals again, but would end up on the losing side, this time. It wouldn’t be until the 1949-50 season that the club would win its next major title, the Ligue 1 title, although they did win the 1944 Championat National title.
Bordeaux would, then, go through a slow slump and although they would finish runners-up in the Coupe-de-France tournament, in 1952 and 1955, it would be their last final appearance for almost a decade. In 1964, Bordeaux would again reach the finals of the Coupe-de-France, and then again in 1968, but ended up as losers on both occasions.
In Europe, Bordeaux were runners-up at the 1950 Latin Cup but other successes were as few and far away as domestic glory. The team kept falling through the league tables, all the way down into the Championat National divisions, and it wouldn’t be until the 1980s that the club would claw its way back up. The 80s were the best time to be a Bordeaux fan as the club win two successive Coupe de France titles in 1986 and 1987 along with three league titles in 1983-84, 1984-85 and in 1986-87. They would also win the French Trophee des Champions in 1986, to complete a successful decade as well as a return to the top-tier of French football teams.
Bordeaux had become a name to be reckoned with and the success would continue, to some extent, in the 1990s. The club won the 1991-92 Ligue 2 title to gain promotion to the first division and in 1998-99, would win the French Ligue 1 title as well. They reached two consecutive finals of the Coupe de la Ligue, in 1997 and 1998, ending up on the losing side on both occasions. They would also come second at the 1995-96 UEFA Cup and would win the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup too.
However, that would be their only taste of European glory and for the club, and in the 2000s, the club would win the 2002 Coupe de la Ligue title, a feat they would repeat in 2007 and 2009. In 2008 and 2009, Bordeaux would also win the Trophee des Champions but the big one, the Ligue 1 title, would come to rest at Bordeaux in 2008-09.
Throughout its history, a number of world class talents have come out of the Bordeaux youth academy and first team, including the likes of Patrick Battiston, Christophe Dugarry, Rene Girard, Yoann Gourcuff, Bixente Lizarazu, Johan Micoud, Jean Tigana, Sylvain Wiltord and the magnificent Zinedine Zidane. The club has also seen managers like Benito Diaz, Aime Jacquet, Jean Tigana and Laurent Blanc take over the reins of the club.