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Christophe Galtier and Nice's rise in French Football

The Man with the Midas Touch - Christophe Galtier
The Man with the Midas Touch - Christophe Galtier

Christophe Galtier was no stranger to French football when he took over OGC Nice earlier this year. Galtier has played over a hundred games for his hometown club Marseille, in addition to enjoying spells in Lille and Angers.

The former Marseille star has been a managerial revolution since taking over Saint-Etienne almost a decade ago.

Nice's struggles in French Football in the last decade

Nice have struggled to maintain pace with the likes of Olympique Lyon and Lille in recent times. The last five editions of Ligue 1 have also seen the club plummet to newer lows, even finishing below the likes of RC Lens and Stade Rennes.

In the 2017-18 season, they finished seventh in the table, barely managing to cross the 50-points mark.

In the last two editions, they made some progress by finishing fifth, nevertheless, European participation eluded them.

The beginning of the Jim Ratcliffe era

Jim Ratcliffe, the CEO of multinational oil and chemical company, Ineos, acquired OGC Nice in July 2019 for a reported €100 million. The Ratcliffe era began with the dismissal of Patrick Viera, under whose tenure the club had finished seventh in the previous season. Adrian Ursea took over as boss the following season.

The ambitions of the Ratcliffe era were finally showcased when Nice decided to acquire the services of Galtier earlier this year.

Christophie Galtier's Phenomenal Track-Record

Galtier has been a very successful French manager ever since he started managing in French football. Under his guidance, Saint-Etienne finished in the top 10 of Ligue 1 for seven consecutive seasons, with four of those seasons ending in a European finish.

Lille who won the Ligue 1 title are currently losing 5-0 at home against OGC Nice. Christophe Galtier who won the Ligue 1 title last season with Lille is now Nice’s manager.πŸ˜‚ #Ligue1 https://t.co/xau5J4Ihwe

Success followed Galtier as he moved to Lille in December 2017. He took the club, which was reeling 18th in the table mid-season, to a second-place finish next season. To add the cherry to the top, Lille managed to dethrone PSG as Ligue 1 champions this year.

Revival of Nice's Fortunes

Galtier's arrival brought much-needed optimism to the club's fanbase. His track record in French football of transforming struggling teams into championship outfits is second to none.

Nice showed great ambition in the transfer market by roping in Algerian centre-forward Andy Delort. Promising Dutch winger Calvin Stengs was purchased from AZ Alkmaar. Both of these signings have allowed Galtier to afford a more attacking 4-3-3 set-up.

The attacking duo of Dolberg and Delort have contributed more than half of Nice's goals this season.

With almost half the season gone, the club finds itself fourth in the table and only two points off second place, which guarantees direct Champions League qualification.

If they do that, which seems to be a likely possibility, it will be their first appearance in the Champions League since their 2016 Champions League 3rd qualifying round appearance.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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