AS MONACO FC SEALS A BRILLIANT SEASON AS RUNNER-UP IN THE TROPHEE DES CHAMPIONS 2017

by Romano Lupi MONACO. The brilliant 2016–17 season was ASM FC’s fourth consecutive season in Ligue 1 since promotion from Ligue 2 in 2013. Monaco won their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years, preventing Paris Saint-Germain from earning a fifth consecutive trophy. 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. After beating Fenerbahce and Villareal in succession, Monaco qualified for the group stage of the Champions League, and they sealed their place in the Round of 16 as group winners following a 2–1 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in their fifth group match. Following their aggregate win on away goals to Manchester City in the Round of 16 and a 6–3 aggregate victory over Borussia-Dortmunf in the quarter-finals, Monaco qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2004. Aside from their domestic success, Monaco also excelled in the UEFA Champions League, progressing to the semi-finals with some swashbuckling displays. They were eventually eliminated by Juventus over two legs by a 4-1 aggregate scoreline.

After some swashbuckling displays this challenge has been a CLASH ROYALE!
After some swashbuckling displays this challenge has been a CLASH ROYALE!

Monaco reached the final of the Coupe de la Ligue and the semi-finals of the Coupe de France as well; they were eliminated by PSG on both occasions. The 2016–17 Ligue 1 season was the 79th season since its establishment. Paris saint-Germain were the defending champions. The fixtures were announced on 1 June 2016. The season began on 12 August 2016 and ended on 20 May 2017. On 17 May 2017, Monaco AS secured the title after 37 matches, their first since the 1999-2000 season and the first under the Ligue 1 name. Teenage star Kylian Mbappe helped Monaco secure their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years with his 15th goal of the season in a 2-0 victory at home to Saint-Etienne.

Dmitri Rybolovlev president of Monaco and Prince Albert II during AS Monaco French Ligue 1 Winners
Dmitri Rybolovlev president of Monaco and Prince Albert II during AS Monaco French Ligue 1 Winners

The 18-year-old raced clear of the visiting defence to nervelessly roll in the opening goal after 19 minutes at the Stade Louis II as Paris Saint-Germain’s four-year reign as French champions came to an end. Valere Germain added a second with the final kick of the match. “We can finally say we are champions. I’m very proud of this team, of these players. It’s a dream for me, I’m very happy,” Monaco captain Radamel Falcao told Canal+. Leonardo Jardim’s side were effectively guaranteed the title after Sunday’s 4-0 win over Lille due to their vastly superior goal difference and needed just a point to secure an eighth league crown. “We’ve been able to hold on all the way against teams like Paris and Nice who kept up with the pace until the end,” said Mbappe. “Unfortunately for them but luckily for us, we’re the ones leaving with the trophy.” Not since Claude Puel guided a squad featuring Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet and Willy Sagnol to the 1999-2000 title had Monaco been crowned kings of France. After several ordinary seasons and a painful banishment, it is in Ligue 2 that AS Monaco FC leaded by Leonardo Jardin reconstruct itself. In spring 2014, it finds its place within the Champions League.

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On May 17 2017 at the Louis II Stadium in the Principality of Monaco they won the title in Ligue 1 clash with St.Etienne FC: – “They had a superb season both individually and collectively. I think we fully deserve it,” said Jardim “ “This year we’ve been uncompromising in the ground.” Unfortunately the Leonardo Jardim’s squad lost the challenge 1-2 against PSG for the Trophée des Champions on Saturday 29 July at the Ibn-Batouta Stade in Tanger – Morocco, a clash of champions that attracted 45.000 fans. The Trophée des Champions (Champions’ Trophy), is a French association football trophy contested in an annual match between the champions of Ligue 1 (ASM) and the winners of the Coupe de France (PSG. It is equivalent to the Super Cuips found in many countries. The 2017 Trophée des Champions (English: 2017 Champions Trophy) was the 22nd edition of the Trophée des Champions the annual super cup in France.

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The 2016–17 UEFA Champions League was the 62nd season of Europe’s premier club Football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 25th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs’ Cup tothe UEFA Champions League. Monaco qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2004, where they were beaten 4–1 on aggregate by Juventus. The final was played between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Millenium Stadiun in Cardiff-Wales. It was the second time that the two teams faced each other in the competition’s decisive match, having previously met in the 1998 final. Real Madrid, the defending champions, beat Juventus 4–1 to win a record-extending 12th title. With this victory, Real Madrid became the first team to successfully defend their title in the Champions League era, and the first to do so since Milan in 1990. There are 20 clubs in the league, with three promoted teams from Ligue 2 replacing the three teams that were relegated from Ligue 1 following the 2015-2016 season. All clubs that secured Ligue 1 status for the season were subject to approval by the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG) before becoming eligible to participate.

The 2016–17 UEFA Champions League knockout phase began on 14 February and ended on 3 June 2017 with the final at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, to decide the champions of the 2016-2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. A total of 16 teams competed in the knockout phase. The knockout phase involves the 16 teams which qualified as winners and runners-up of each of the eight groups in the group stage. Each tie in the knockout phase, apart from the final, is played over two legs with each team playing one leg at home. The team that scores more goals on aggregate over the two legs advance to the next round. If the aggregate score is level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs advances. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time is played. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team advances by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out. In the final, which is played as a single match, if scores are level at the end of normal time, extra time is played, followed by penalty shoot-out if scores remain tied. The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows: a) in the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners are seeded, and the eight group runners-up are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other. b) in the draws for the quarter-finals onwards, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other.

Leonardo Jardim pictured here as Monaco FC' s managerial mastermind
Leonardo Jardim pictured here as Monaco FC’ s managerial mastermind

 

Next matches 2017-2018 in the Principlaity of Monaco at the Stade Louis II are the following: Friday, 04 Aug 2017 AS MONACO (ASM) vs Toulouse FC (TFC) and Sunday, 27 Aug 2017 AS MONACO (ASM) vs Olympique de Marseille (OM)

 

 

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