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Ligue 2 is a hotbed of former Champions League glory, with AS Monaco, Auxerre and Nantes all currently occupying France's second tier.
With players such as Claude Makelele and Christian Karembeu on their books, Nantes won the Ligue 1 title in 1995, earning them a spot in the 1995-96 Champions League. They played exceptionally well and progressed all the way to the semifinals, where they were knocked out by eventual winners Juventus.
They hit financial difficulty soon after but still managed to win Ligue 1 again in 2001. In 2004/05, they flirted with relegation following a player revolt against manager Loic Amisse, which led to a violent fan revolt against the chairman.
Les Canaris held on in Ligue 1 until 2006-07, when they dropped down for the first time since 1963. They were promoted after one season but immediately dropped down again in 2009. They have come very close to dropping to the third tier a few times since.