Monaco World Cup round-up: Embolo begins with emotional goal

Five AS Monaco players featured in the opening round of World Cup games in Qatar, as Breel Embolo stole the headlines, netting for Switzerland against his country of birth, Cameroon.

Krépin Diatta and Ismaïl Jakobs were the first Monaco players to star in the tournament, with the latter’s preparation for the tie against the Netherlands hugely hampered.

Administrative banality almost ends Jakobs’ World Cup

Jakobs’ decision to switch international allegiance from Germany to Senegal was a relatively late one. Despite featuring for Aliou Cissé’s side in the last international break before the World Cup, FIFA still hadn’t processed his paperwork. Consequently, the full-back’s participation was thrown into doubt and only resolved hours before the game.

Given the all-clear, Jakobs had to settle for a place on the bench, but came on in the latter stages. Diatta played from the start, but couldn’t influence the outcome of the game as Senegal lost 2-0 against the Dutch.

France survive early Socceroos scare

Youssouf Fofana and his former teammate at AS Monaco, Aurélien Tchouaméni, both featured for Les Bleus as they came back from a goal down to beat Australia 4-1 on Tuesday. Tchouaméni featured from the start, as he often has in recent weeks, with his old midfield partner coming on in the final minutes.

Former Monaco forward Kylian Mbappé got himself on the scoresheet too as Didier Deschamps’ side got themselves off to a winning start. Axel Disasi didn’t play, but he could potentially start against Denmark on Saturday, with RMC Sport reporting that the former Reims defender is being tested as a right-back option ahead of the game.

A game-changing intervention

Takumi Minamio didn’t feature from the start against Germany, but he used his limited playing time to good effect. When he entered the fray in the 74th minute, Japan were 1-0 down. One minute later, and Japan drew level after the Monaco forward’s shot was parried into the path of Ritsu Doan, who couldn’t miss the rebound.

Japan shocked the Germans when they grabbed a late winner through Takuma Asano, with Minamino’s introduction proving a game-changing moment. Germany now face Spain in their next round, and they must win if they are to progress to the knockout rounds.

Embolo’s emotional goal

In a roundtable interview with Monaco Life prior to the tournament, Embolo spoke about the difficulty of choosing Switzerland over Cameroon.

“When I chose to play for Switzerland, there was always part of me that wanted to represent my country of birth. I am very happy with my choice and I’m Cameroon’s biggest fan,” he said.

The Monaco striker had the unusual sensation of facing his country of birth in a World Cup opener, and he marked the “emotional” occasion with the winning goal, which out of respect, he chose not to celebrate. He has now put Switzerland in a strong position to qualify from their group.



Monte-Carlo Opera performs Delibes’ Lakmé

The Monte Carlo Opera is presenting two pre-Christmas performances of Lakmé, the celebrated opera by Léo Delibes, and its tale of forbidden passions in late 19th century India.  

First performed in 1883 in Paris by the Opera-Comedique, Léo Delibes’ Lakmé may not be as timely as it once was, but it is no less visually stunning or relevant in terms of human nature in the face of illicit love. 

The story is set during the late 19th century British colonial rule over India, an era that was fraught with social rules on both the part of the English as well as the native peoples. Fraternising was looked down upon and love between the two cultures was rarely accepted by either side.   

Lakmé begins with a Brahmin priest’s daughter, the title character, and her helper, gathering flowers at the river before a Hindu ceremony. They remove their jewels and some Englishmen and women picnicking nearby admire the jewellery and decide to sketch it. One of the British men, an officer called Gerald, stays behind to draw, and when Lakmé and her helper Mallika return, he hides to avoid being spotted.   

When Mallika leaves, Lakmé sees Gerald, and whilst at first she is frightened, soon the two become intrigued by one another. As the opera progresses, they fall deeply in love and plans emerge for them to stay together. As all good operas must end in tragedy, so too does Lakmé, as Gerald’s friend, Frederic, reminds him of his duty. Lakmé, knowing she is losing Gerald, commits suicide by taking poison.  

The Monte-Carlo Opera version will see Sabine Devieilhe in the title role, Fleur Barron as Mallika, Cyrille Dubois as Gerald, and Pierre Doyen as Frederic. The musical director is Laurent Campellone, the general director of the Grand Theatre of Tours, and the choirmaster is Stefano Visconti.  

Lakmé will be performed on 9th December at 8pm and 11th December at 3pm at the Rainier III Auditorium in Salle Yakov Kreizberg.  

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit  



Photo source: Khadija Yousaf for Unsplash

Arthur Leclerc makes the step up to Formula 2

Formula 2 side DAMS have announced that Arthur Leclerc, younger brother of Charles, will race for the team in the upcoming season, following last season’s sixth-placed finish in Formula 3. 

A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Leclerc is rising through the ranks. Racing for Prema in 2022, the 22-year-old Monegasque secured a sixth-placed finish in the drivers’ standings in his second year in Formula 3, which is enough for him to make the move to Formula 2 next season.

Speaking in a DAMS press release, Leclerc reacted to his signing: “I’m delighted to be making the step up to Formula 2 with DAMS in 2023. They’re a very successful team that have achieved great results in the championship, and I hope I can be a part of that and continue the team’s success.”

The team’s owner, Charles Pic, added, “It’s great to have Arthur join DAMS for 2023. We’ve seen his talent and skill throughout his career so far and he’s shown in the last two years in F3 that he’s capable of challenging for victories. The team is aiming for a strong campaign in 2023 and we’ve no doubt that the addition of Arthur will help us towards our goals.”

Leclerc is taking part in end-of-season testing with DAMS at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi (23rd to 25th November) before making his Formula 2 debut in Bahrain in March, in what is the first of 14 races on the calendar.



Photo of Arthur Leclerc by Dutch Photo Agency

AS Monaco secure favourable Coupe de France draw

AS Monaco's Performance Centre, La Turbie

AS Monaco’s Coupe de France opponent has been revealed: Philippe Clement’s men will face Ligue 2 side Rodez at the Stade Louis II in the round of 64 in early January. 

In being drawn against Rodez, who are currently 18th in Ligue 2, Monaco avoided a potential heavyweight clash against Nice, Marseille or Montpellier. It is therefore a favourable draw for the club, who will be looking to improve on last season’s Coupe de France performance.

Back in March, Clement’s men were knocked out of the competition on penalties in the semi-final. The winner on the night, Nantes, went on to win the tournament, beating Nice at the Stade de France in a cagey match at the Stade de France.

There is, however, an element of the unknown going into Monaco’s first Coupe de France match of the 2022/23 season, as the club have never faced Rodez. The tie will be played on either 6th, 7th, or 8th January, after the club host Brest in Ligue 1 on New Year’s Day, and before a tricky trip to Ligue 1 high-fliers Lorient on 11th January.


Photo by Monaco Life