AS Monaco’s training centre inaugurated in star-studded celebration

The stars descended on AS Monaco’s sparkling new training centre in La Turbie on Monday to celebrate the official completion of a project that began back in 2018.

Prince Albert II, Charles Leclerc, Didier Deschamps and many other stars of AS Monaco’s past and present were in attendance on a landmark day for the Principality’s football club.

Upon Dmitry Rybolovlev’s arrival at the club just over 10 years ago, he had the objective of creating the optimal conditions within which players could flourish and develop; 5th September 2022 marks the date of the completion of that key task.

As performance director James Bunce rightly said during a tour of the impressive facilities, which include two gyms (one of which is fitted with an anti-gravity treadmill), saunas, sleep pods and a swimming pool, “a modern football club needs modern facilities”.

The new training centre, which according to Monaco CEO Jean-Emmanuel de Witt cost around €60m, doesn’t just allow players to train in optimal conditions, it also facilitates the realisation of the club’s philosophy.

“This facility allows us to take the next step in our development, both individually as players but also as a club. We have one of the youngest clubs in Europe and a big history of developing young players, who move on to even greater things,” said Bunce.

The AS Monaco Performance Centre Gym, photo source: AS Monaco

Manager Philippe Clement also believes that the centre can help attract the best talent to the club. “It’s important to have installations like this in order to work, but also in order for transfers. All the players who come here are impressed,” he said.

Speaking during the inauguration, Prince Albert II said that the construction of the elite facility is a “strong signal from the club”, whilst sporting director Paul Mitchell told Monaco Life that the centre is “one of the most special in the world”.

Amongst all of the stars, including Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, France manager Didier Deschamps and notable figures both past and present in Monaco’s footballing history, was a notable absence. Ekaterina Rybolovleva revealed that her father and president of AS Monaco, Dmitry Rybolovlev, couldn’t attend the event due to a “health worry”, but she relayed her father’s words.

“Monaco is a historic club, one of the most successful in French football. We have always had at our heart the idea of allowing the club to continue to develop in order to obtain the best possible results so that Monaco can continue to be not only one of the best in France, but also to shine on the European scene. Today, I expect that the team shows itself worthy of the confidence that we put in them. Monaco is a club with a rich and beautiful history that we respect and that we will continue to write together with our passion for football and with our desire to win,” she said.

As the club begins to write the next chapter in its long and illustrious history, it will do so in an optimal environment, which will give Monaco the best chance of ensuring that this next chapter is one of success.


Click on the gallery below to see more images of the new performance centre, photos courtesy AS Monaco…









Trial commences over Nice terrorist attack

Eight suspects have gone on trial in Paris, accused of playing a part in the 2016 Bastille Day killings of 86 people on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice.

For victims and their loved ones, the wounds are as raw as if the horrific attack by a radicalised Islamist on 14th July 2016 in Nice happened yesterday.

The shocking event took place on the Promenade des Anglais as tourists and locals gathered to celebrate France’s national day. A 31-year-old Tunisian man named Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a truck straight into the crowd and for four minutes ploughed innocent people down indiscriminately as they struggled to get out of the way.

The driver was eventually stopped and shot dead by police but not before 84 people were killed, including 15 children, and another 450 people wounded. It was conjectured he was not working alone, and the subsequent arrests came after police investigated the driver’s circle. 

Trials for the seven men and one woman who are suspected of crimes in connection to the attack, ranging from being aware of Lahouaiej-Bouhlel’s intentions and providing logistical support to supplying weapons, began in Paris on Monday 5th September at the Palais de Justice.

A special venue has been set up in Nice so that victims of the rampage can follow the court case on a live broadcast feed. 

The trial is expected to last until mid-December.

One of the accused, Ramzi Kevin Arefa, faces life in prison, the maximum penalty, if he is convicted. The rest are looking at possible sentences of between five and 20 years. Three of the suspects are charged with association in a terrorist conspiracy and the five others with association in a criminal conspiracy and violating arms laws.

Though killer Lahouaiej-Bouhlel is not around to face his accusers, the proceedings still are a big moment for the survivors and families of the deceased who have been waiting six years for some kind of closure.

“In our jargon, we say that the victims come to ‘deposit’,” Sophie Hébert-Marchal, a lawyer from the Nice Bar who represents 80 civil parties, told Le Figaro. “This means that they will be able to leave lighter, having expressed their pain and said things that cannot be said in another context.

Though the trial may offer a relief of suffering for some, their fates will not be forgotten.

Long-time Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi said, “This wound will never heal, whatever the outcome of the trial. This wound is too deep.”

The 14th July attack was the second most deadly post war assault in France after the 2015 Paris attacks, which saw 130 people killed.




Photo of the L’ange de la baie monument to the victims of the Nice terrorist attack unveiled on 14th July 2022, credit Ville de Nice. 





Monaco hits emissions target in almost all sectors, except construction

A new report shows that Monaco has met its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

The Department of the Environment has just published the 2022 National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report for the Principality.

Though the report is released in 2022, it is based on comparative data collected between 1990 and 2020. The data shows the levels of various substances which increase the effects of greenhouse gas retained under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In 2020, The Principality’s emissions reached an all-time low with a massive 31.8% decrease compared to 1990. The previous year saw a decrease of 18.8%, also a good result.

The main emitting sectors, namely building energy demand, mobility and waste incineration, saw their emissions decrease by 21%, 17% and 19% respectively between 2019 and 2020. Only the construction sector increased, due to the major projects in progress and their continuation in 2020.

This National Inventory Report is being called “a pivotal step” by the government. It ends the second period of the Kyoto Protocol, under which Monaco pledged to reduce emissions by 30% in 2020. The objective was met with room to spare.

The next step will be an even greater reduction, with the goal of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.





Government lays out strategy for coming school year

It’s back to school for all students in the Principality of Monaco and, according to the education department, it’s under “much calmer” and more innovative conditions this year.

Monday 5th September marked the official return to school for the 5,696 students and the 872 staff members of the Principality.

To ease re-entry, Isabelle Bonnal, Commissioner General in charge of the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports, spoke to the press about the new year and what changes and objectives kids and parents can expect.

One of the most welcome changes will be that children are no longer obliged to wear masks at school, though barrier gestures will still be maintained. Said Ms Bonnal of this development, “It is in much calmer conditions that the start of the 2022 school year will take place.”

Additionally, there will be a return to face-to-face classes, parent-teacher meetings and gym classes, both indoor and outdoor.

On the learning front, students in first class will have a voluntary option of taking an additional one and a half hours of maths to their general schedules, under the heading of scientific mathematics education. For younger children, at the primary level, all CE2, CM1 and CM2 classes in the Principality will take part in the Kangourou des maths competition which will take place during Mathematics Week, from 6th to 15th March 2023.

Middle school pupils will be offered three new competitions, starting with CGénial, which gives them a chance to design a scientific project, Océano for All, an avenue for proposing objectives on sustainable development, and an inter-establishment competition putting students to the test on cross-learning bridge and mathematics.

Languages are being highlighted this year as well. “The Monegasque language becomes compulsory in 3rd grade, in the continuity of what was put in place for 4th graders last year,” announced Ms Bonnal at the press conference.

Access to the English language will also be facilitated and “made fairer”.

Two pilot programmes at La Condamine school and FANB Institution school will try out a system of assessments without grades for CE1 and CE2 classes. This is part of the well-being plans for this school year, noting that “grades can be a stress factor in the life of the student”. If successful, this could expand to secondary education.

For those whose schedules are heavy on sport, “a new system for evaluating sports skills, tested this year with 3rd grade classes, will be implemented each quarter and directly within the sports club concerned by a referent PE teacher in compliance with the standards and criteria defined in the official programme,” said the general commissioner. Furthermore, the Grande Section Maternelle kids will be able to try out a new sport this year: judo and laser run, combining running and laser shooting.

The current international option for Bac students has been replaced with the international French baccalaureate, offering subjects taught and tested in another language, giving students a bilingual, bicultural diploma, something that makes sense in multicultural Monaco.

In the digital domain, primary school pupils will discover ‘Minecraft, Adventures of Monaco’, a playful and dynamic way of immersing children in the history of Monaco.

This year, pupils from Lycée Technique et Hôtelier will be equipped with a touch screen laptop, provided by All Saints, giving them access to digital textbooks. BTS and BCG students will receive the same laptops in January. This programme was able to offer last year’s students at the Lycée Albert 1er the same deal.

For the instructors, a new platform of educational resources, Tactileo, will be made available to secondary school teachers from Monday.

On a social note, staff training in the prevention of violence and harassment continues, and cases will be seriously looked at and considered to ensure no child suffers from bullying.




Photo credit: Michael Alesi, Government Communications Department 






Come one and all to the Market Ball

The Monaco Mairie has organised an end of summer event the Place des Armes, filled with music, dance and of course, culinary delights from the Condamine Market.

The Principality is putting on a bash to end the season in style. Called The Market Ball (Le Bal du Marché), the organisers are touting it as an event “In the rural style with a guinguette atmosphere”, welcoming the public to come and join in the festivities.

A guinguette was a popular 18th century term for drinking establishments in the suburbs of Paris and of other cities in France. Guinguettes would also serve as restaurants and often as dance venues. The origin of the term comes from guinguet, indicating a local sour, light white wine.

In Monaco, it will be more like a celebration, with large open seating tables made available to the public, giving them a chance to meet, eat, dance and have a glass or two.

The traders of the Condamine Market will be open for business serving up delicious fare, and additional stands outside will help keep lines to a minimum.

Benty Brothers Music will perform live, so dancing will also be on the menu.

The Market Ball takes place on Friday 9th September. Food and drinks will be served from 7pm and the music starts at 7:30pm. Entry is free of charge but guests are encouraged to come early as there are no reservations and seating will fill up fast. 




Photo source: Mairie de Monaco






Monaco claim bragging rights over local rivals

AS Monaco edged a tight, tactical battle at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday thanks to a Breel Embolo header, which was enough to beat fierce local rivals OGC Nice.

Only goal difference separated the two sides going into the local derby. Although both sides have struggled for form at the beginning of the season, Nice came into the match off the back of an impressive win away at Lille, whilst Monaco arrived having lost at home to ESTAC Troyes in their previous match.

The first-half evidenced a lack of confidence in both sides. The battle was tactically intriguing, although sorely lacking in exciting goalmouth action. Youcef Atal had Nice’s best chance, but he could only shoot straight at Alexander Nübel from around 18 yards out.

Monaco had their half-chances too. The strength of the Monégasuqes game, in the first-half at least, was based on a solid, well-organised defence, but in attack, Aleksandr Golovin was Philippe Clement’s side’s most creative outlet.

After a neat one-two with Embolo, Golovin found himself in on goal, albeit at a tight angle, and he couldn’t force Kasper Schmeichel into a save, with his shot whistling just wide.

Photo by Monaco Life

The second-half, although more exciting than the first, still offered little entertainment for the neutral. In a game of few chances, it is the most clinical side that wins, and on this occasion, it was Monaco.

Caio Henrique, with the game’s standout moment of quality delivered a sumptuous ball right onto the head of Embolo, who made no mistake from close range. Thereafter, Monaco were untroubled, as Nice offered little in the offensive phases. As manager Lucien Favre damningly assessed post-match: “We were bad with the ball and we were bad without it.”

Monaco therefore took the narrow but deserved victory and celebrated with the 400+ Monaco fans that made the short journey down the coast. The three points sends Monaco 10th in the table, whilst Nice languish down in 16th.

Clement told Monaco Life post-match that the win will give his side a boost. “Winning here gives us a lot of confidence, especially since we know the importance for the players, the club, the management and the fans, of winning this derby. It’s good and we need to back it up now on Thursday.”

Clement’s side face another tough challenge midweek as they make the trip to Belgrade to face Red Star in their Europa League opener. A hostile atmosphere awaits them, but their latest victory will fill them with confidence.



Photo source: AS Monaco