Football Club de Nantes (Breton: Naoned; Gallo: Naunnt), commonly referred to as FC Nantes or simply Nantes ([nɑ̃t] (listen)), is a French professional football club based in Nantes in Pays de la Loire. The club was founded on 21 April 1943, during World War II, as a result of local clubs based in the city coming together to form one large club. From 1992 to 2007, the club was referred to as FC Nantes Atlantique before reverting to its current name at the start of the 2007–08 season. Nantes play in Ligue 1, the first division of Football in France.Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight Ligue 1 titles, four Coupe de France wins and attained one Coupe de la Ligue victory.
The club is famous for its jeu à la nantaise ("Nantes-style play"), its collective spirit, mainly advocated under coaches José Arribas, Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Raynald Denoueix and for its youth system, which has produced players such as Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps, Mickaël Landreau, Claude Makélélé, Christian Karembeu and Jérémy Toulalan. As well as Les Canaris (The Canaries), Nantes is also nicknamed Les jaunes et verts (The Green and Yellows) and La Maison Jaune (The Yellow House).
The club was founded in 1943. The first match played by Nantes as a professional team took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes against CA Paris, where Nantes triumphed 2–0. The first home match was a defeat of the same score against Troyes. The club finished fifth at the end of this first season following which the club's manager Aimé Nuic left the club following a dispute, and was succeeded by Antoine Raab, who took over in a player-coach role. After winning 16 consecutive matches, Nantes lost 9–0 to Sochaux.
The club became a professional football club in 1945 after winning the Western Region championship, and started that season in the second division. Under historic president Marcel Saupin, it spent a few years as a mid-table club in that division, with even threat of relegation in 1950, avoided on the last game only.