by Romano Lupi
MONACO. AS Monaco would like to congratulate the Blues, especially its 2017 French Champions Djibril Sidibe, Thomas Lemar, Benjamin Mendy and Kylian Mbappe, World Cup champions against Croatia on 15th July 2018. Twenty years after France 98 and the coronation of Thierry Henry, David Trézéguet, Emmanuel Petit and Lilian Thuram, AS Monaco is very proud to count today, with Kylian Mbappé, a new world champion formed in the academy.
Like his proud elders, his name will forever be associated with AS Monaco. With Yuri Tielemans, third with Belgium, AS Monaco is the only club, with FC Barcelona, to have a representative on each team at the podium in this edition of the 2018 World Cup. The club also congratulates its captain Falcao, Joao Moutinho, Keita Baldé, Kamil Glik and all AS Monaco players who competed. “Congratulations to all those outstanding champions who make the club proud. I have a special thought for Djibril Sidibé, Kylian Mbappé, Benjamin Mendy and Thomas Lemar. Two years after helping AS Monaco win an eighth Ligue 1 title, here they are as world champions. This ultimate title rewards their talent, a flawless state of mind and of course all the work they’ve done for years, including those in the red and white jersey.” Dmitry Rybolovlev, President of AS Monaco said.
The club also salutes the success of Didier Deschamps, who began his coaching career with AS Monaco. Didier Deschamps is now only the third man in history to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. He lifted the trophy as his nation’s captain following the first title at Stade de France in 1998, and now he watched Hugo Lloris raise it in a Russian downpour following Sunday’s (Monday NZT) 4-2 win over Croatia. The 49-year-old joined Brazil’s Mario Zagallo (1958-62 as a player, 1970 as a manager) and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer (1974, 1990) as the only men to play for and coach a world champion.
“Well, I don’t really like to talk about myself, but I’m going to be forced to do so a little bit, of course,” Deschamps said. “I had the immense pleasure and immense privilege to live through this as a player 20 years ago, and it was in France, so of course it will be marked in my memory forever. But what the players did today is just as beautiful, is just as strong.” His players had to be brawny. They lifted Deschamps after the match and flung him into the air, over and over. They’ve always been a little bit mad, my players,” he said. Deschamps was a defensive midfielder for Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia from 1985-2001, winning the Champions League with Juventus in 1996 and the 2000 European Championship with France in addition to the World Cup. He coached Monaco, Juventus and Marseille before taking over France in 2012.
AS Monaco highlights also the performance of Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, a finalist, who was outstanding in the competition. He plays as a goalkeeper for AS Monaco and the Croatia national team, FIFA World Cup runner-up 2018. Individually, Danijel Subasic was named Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year 2016-17 and UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year 2016-17. In 2017, Monaco won its first Ligue 1 title in 17 years, preventing Paris Saint-Germain from earning a fifth consecutive trophy in 2017. The Leonardo Jardim’s squad participated also in the Coupe de France, the Coupe da la Ligue, the Champions Trophy – Trophée des Champions and the UEFA Champions League. The brilliant 2017–18 season was AS Monaco FC’s fifth consecutive season in Ligue 1 since promotion from Ligue 2 in 2013. They were the defending Ligue 1 champions. “With 80 points, AS Monaco has had a great season”. As the curtain came down on the 2017/2018 campaign, Vadim Vasilyev, Vice President of the Monégasque football club AS Monaco FC, gave a positive assessment. Looking back at the year, AS Monaco ended Ligue 1 Conforama 2017/2018 as runners-up to secure their fifth consecutive top-three finish, the first time for 25 years that they had achieved such a feat! (six successive top-three finishes between 1987 and 1993.) Having gone on the longest unbeaten run of any side in Ligue 1 this season (17 matches), the Red & Whites also racked up their second highest goal total in the top flight with 85 scored in 38 matches, a figure only bettered by the 107 scored last season. With 24 wins in the league, this is the second consecutive season under president Dmitry Rybolovlev in which AS Monaco have clocked up more than 20 victories (30 in 2016/17). It’s also only the second time the club has achieved the feat in its entire top-flight history (22 wins in 1991/92 and 21 in 1992/93). Leonardo Jardim led AS Monaco to a top-three finish for the fourth season in a row, and a second consecutive Coupe de la Ligue final. The Portuguese coach also marked his 200th match in charge of AS Monaco this season, and with a total of 221 matches in the dugout, he is now the third longest-serving coach in the club’s history, ahead of Didier Deschamps (208) and behind Lucien Leduc (345) and Arsène Wenger (349). Jardim also boasts the best win rate (56%) and the lowest loss rate (21%) of any coach with more than 100 matches in charge of AS Monaco. Nominated as one of the four best coaches in the French top division, after winning the Coach of the Year award last season, he was name the top Portuguese coach of 2017 at the “Quinas de Ouro” and “Globos de Ouro” awards.
Despite exiting the Champions League at the group stage, the Red & Whites kept working hard to achieve their target of qualifying directly for next season’s competition. The squad showed great mental resilience to collect 22 points in Ligue 1 this season after falling behind. AS Monaco also have more different scorers than any other side, with 19 players contributing goals.This season, AS Monaco saw several players reach major milestones, with four making their 100th appearance for the club: Thomas Lemar, Jemerson, Falcao and Kamil Glik. João Moutinho, Fabinho and Andrea Raggi are veterans with over 200 appearances for the Red & Whites. The senior players have helped the youngsters to develop. This season, the AS Monaco Academy once again showed just how important it is to the club’s project, as several new youngsters broke through while others confirmed their potential. The Italian Pietro Pellegri beat Kylian Mbappé’s record to become the youngest ever player to make an appearance for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, at just 16 years and 10 months. For the second year running, with an 82% positive opinion rating, AS Monaco topped the image charts for professional football clubs, realized in partnership with the LFP, Première Ligue and IPOS for the 2017-18 season. AS Monaco have recorded a resounding victory in the image stakes. A survey carried out on French football clubs in partnership with the LFP, Première Ligue and IPSOS for the 2017-2018 season found that 82% of those questioned had a “good image” of AS Monaco, almost 20 points above the average (63%). Some 26% of those surveyed had a “very good image” of the club from the Principality. The score sees AS Monaco top the rankings of Ligue 1 clubs for the second successive season, and represents a fitting reward for the hard work done in recent years, boosted by fine results on the pitch.