As Irish supporters arrive, a Bordeaux fan shares the secrets of her city and club

Sophies Garrigues runs WebGirondins, a FCGB fan club

Bordeaux, Stadium, Euro 2016

A general view of the stadium before the UEFA Euro 2016, Group B match at the Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux. Picture by: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ireland take on Belgium in the beautiful city of Bordeaux but if you're on your way there for the second Euro 2016 game or want to find the best places to go out, we've got just the person to help you.

Sophie Garrigues runs the fan website, WebGirondins, which follows the fortunes of the city's French top flight club FC Girondins de Bordeaux and she's got plenty of info to share on her city and beloved club.

Not such a sleepy city

"Long known as the 'Sleeping Beauty', the city of Bordeaux has become more and more attractive. The historical centre of the old city is built around the docks of the Garonne River and it's a great area to go out and go for a stroll.

"Bordeaux has many bars and pubs which are perfect if you want to make the most of the nightlife, including: The Houses of Parliament, The Connemara, The Cock and Bull et The Frog & Rosbif in the heart of the city centre. Then there are The Golden Apple and The Martek Tavern in Chartrons, and The Pub Saint Aubin near Place de la Victoire.

The historic FC Girondins de Bordeaux

"The multisports club FC Girondins de Bordeaux was founded in 1881, while the football section was formed in 1919 which makes it one of the oldest clubs in France.

"Since then, Bordeaux has experienced many historic moments which has put it at the forefront of the European club scene.

"All our supporters remember the European adventure of 1996 and the UEFA Cup quarter-final against the mighty AC Milan which we won thanks to a 3-0 home result in the second leg. That year the European journey ended in the final against Bayern Munich.

"Bordeaux has a trophy cabinet full of major titles including six leagues, four French Cups and three League Cups.

"In the spring of 2015, the club said goodbye to its old stadium Stade Chaban-Delmas, which fans used to call Lescure. We now have new history to write at our new Matmut Atlantique stadium."

View of the Port de la Lune in Bordeaux. Picture by: / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Our most famous players

"Since the club's creation, we have had many famous names in our ranks. Standout among them was France legend Alain Giresse due to his longevity. He made 587 appearances for the club and scored 182 goals.

"Marius Tresor, Jean Tigana and Dominique Dropsy also made their mark for the club.

"In the historic 1996 season, we had big names like Bixente Lizarazu, Christophe Dugarry and a certain Zinedine Zidane.

"In recent years, the fans haven't forgotten the exploits of ex-Portugal striker Pauleta at the start of the Millennium.

"Remembered for his great personality as well as his talent in front of goal, Pauleta put his No 22 shirt into the realm of club legends with 91 goals.

"The 2009 title-winning side was staffed by Marouane Chamack and Yoann Gourcouff. Supporters also have great respect for Marc Planus, who retired in 2015 and spent his entire career in the Bordeaux shirt." 

The fanbase led by the Ultra Marines

"Which is the most well-known of the fan groups in the city? It has to be the Ultra Marines. They lead the show in the Bordeaux Kop, have existed since 1987 and are based in the South Stand of the stadium.

"Being an Ultra Marine is a way of life with chants like "Aux Armes" exchanged with the North Stand. We also have a great relationship with the fans of Saint Etienne, the type of intra-club relationship which is increasingly rare in modern football."

Words originally in French by Sophie Garrigues.