AS Monaco begin crucial February with nervy win over Auxerre

AS Monaco were made to pay for lapses of concentration as they held onto the win in an unnecessarily nervy tie against Auxerre (3-2) at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday. 

Monaco looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory in the first half. Auxerre offered little, and Les Monégasques, one of the most prolific sides in Europe in front of goal, punished any defensive errors.

Wissam Ben Yedder opened the scoring with a neat finish from a sublime one-touch Youssouf Fofana assist. Eliesse Ben Seghir, who broke onto the scene with a brace against the same opponent in the first part of the season, scored another brilliant goal on Wednesday. His rifled finish from outside the box gave the Principality side a comfortable two-goal cushion.

Photo by Monaco Life

It looked like a question of how many would Monaco score, but after the break, there was a significant drop in intensity, which allowed Auxerre a route back into the match.

Matthis Albine raced in on goal after a lapse in concentration in the Monaco defence to halve the deficit. Just minutes later, Nuno Da Costa almost levelled the score, but luckily for Philippe Clement’s side, his shot hit the post before deflecting to safety.

Monaco’s two-goal cushion was restored by Breel Embolo, but Auxerre were once again gifted a route back into the game, Da Costa this time making no mistake with the finish.

That goal set up a nervy ending, but Monaco held on (3-2) to maintain their fourth spot in Ligue 1, and remain undefeated since the return from the World Cup break.

“I’m not fully satisfied with what I saw. I was happy with the content in the first half: lots of movement, quality, tempo, chances, and goals – all the things that we want to see, with an attractive style of play. Less so in the second half and because of that Auxerre got back in the match. I want to see a 90-minute match as we played the first 45 today. That is our challenge,” said Clement post-match.


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Photo by AS Monaco 

A 100% digital future: Monaco reflects on its achievements and looks ahead to next phase of transition

The message at the recent Energy Transition Conference in Monaco was clear: many steps have been made in Monaco’s journey towards a more digital and environmentally sound society, but further work is needed if it is to realise Prince Albert II’s goals by 2030.  

At the annual Mission for the Energy Transition (MTE) meeting last week, politicians and business leaders from across the Principality came together to report on their successes as well as their thoughts on what needs to be done if Monaco is to become a completely digital and inherently sustainable state by the end of this decade.  

It is now six years since the white paper by the Principality’s government that laid out plans to phase into a more digital and environmentally sound society was published, and no one at the meeting could dispute that the progress made since then has been anything less than incredible.  

Many of Monaco’s administrative forms are now available online, digital payroll is the norm rather than the exception, improvements have been made to housing to save energy, there has been a general reduction in waste by the population, efforts have been made to lower CO2 emissions, and multiple private sector companies have joined the state in its commitment to the standards set by the government. In short, a report written by Annabelle Jaeger-Seydoux, the director of the MTE, and shared at the conference, showed that, thus far, the transition has certainly been a success story. 

But as Céline Caron-Dagioni, the minister for Public Works, the Environment and Urban Planning, stated in her discourse, there are still advancements to be made in order to reach the 2030 goal of a total switch.  

“2030 is in seven years, it is already tomorrow,” she reminded those gathered. “Let us therefore redouble our efforts and our collective creativity to come together ever more widely and convince all those who are currently not totally convinced of the imperative need for our approach.” 

“The State must be exemplary,” followed up Minister of State Pierre Dartout. “At all levels of the state, agents are engaged in everyday actions that contribute to controlling consumption and preserving resources.”  

It was then the turn of leaders from the Principality’s business community, whose commitment has been impactful in the overall scheme. Marie-Gisèle Fringant, the president of the Junior Economic Chamber, CSR Manager at CFM Indosuez Virginie Bernard, and Gabriel Viora, the president of the Order of Architects, were amongst those to speak.  

The guest of honour at the event was Guy Pezaku, CEO of the start-up Murfy, an innovative company that has created a digital out-of-warranty repair platform that will help save money for consumers as well as resources. Murfy offers free online self-diagnostic tools to allow people to carry out minor repairs themselves. If the job is too big, they can send out an expert technician, citing a fixed price repair package that includes a six-month warranty on the same failure. 

Finally, the Energy Transition Trophies were awarded to three winners for their dedication to the objectives and goals of the MTE: EatIn’s Léo de Bruyn for his 100% electrically-powered delivery service in the Principality, Grégory Rougaignon from ICI Salad for his investment in the MaConsigne concept, and MoNa Résidence developer Jean-Baptiste Pastor of the Michel Pastor Group for his efforts in this renewable energy-driven project.   


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Photo source:  Monaco Communications Department


50th anniversary of prestigious dance prize features Monte-Carlo Ballet’s Director as Jury President

Monte-Carlo Ballet’s Jean-Christophe Maillot is leading the jury to select the best of the best at this year’s Prix de Lausanne.

One of the dance world’s most coveted prizes, the Prix de Lausanne dance competition has invited 80 of the world’s top young ballerinas to spend a week, from 29th January to 5th February, honing their skills and performing their art while a panel of expert judges, including Monaco’s Jean-Christophe Maillot, watch their every move.  

The goal is for students from smaller institutions to have a shot at joining top drawer ones by facilitating scholarships to partner companies or dance schools where they embark on a year’s training to help them move to the next level of their careers.   

The event has returned home to Lausanne’s Théâtre de Beaulieu after several years of works forced a relocation to Montreux.  

Of course, performances are important, but evolving is equally so, and the week is spent taking lessons and being coached to improve on the already inherent abilities of the 15 to 18-year-old dancers. The majority of the week is spent preparing for the big event on Friday 3rd February, where the group of 80 will drop to 20.   

Those not selected still have a chance to perform for directors of prestigious schools, with the chance of being invited to join their institutions.   

The 20 chosen ballerinas go on to the final, where they are invited to hit the stage and present their own classical and contemporary variations of the dances worked on during the week. Each jurist then ranks the performances from this group, and the winning dancers are selected using criteria set by the schools and troupes.   

Dancers are judged on a variety of criterium, including artistry, individuality, sensitive response to music, physicality, technical ability and dynamic movement. 


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Photo credit: Rodrigo Buas / Prix de Lausanne

Living with Covid – France drops isolation rule for people with the virus

As of 1st February, people in France who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer have to self-isolate, as the country learns to live with Covid.

Almost three years after Covid-19 arrived in France and the country went into lockdown, the government is lifting the last of its control measures.

Now, people with Covid symptoms, contact cases, or those who have categorically contracted the virus are able to live their normal lives, without the need for isolation. The French government does, however, ask that these members of the population adhere to the well-known safety rules to protect the vulnerable members of the community.

If someone is a contact case, the government recommends that they notify people around them, including those in the same house, work colleagues and friends, avoid contact with fragile people, and work from home if possible. While in public, they are asked to keep a two-metre distance from others and wear a mask.

What do I do if I have Covid-19 now?

People who have tested positive for Covid-19 must still warn people around them and those they met within 48 hours of testing positive for the virus, and for a length of seven days. They must wash their hands, wear a mask and limit contact with people as much as possible. While they will no longer be contacted by the health department as part of contact tracing, these people must contact their GP as soon as possible, who can prescribe a sick-leave notice if needed.

From 1st February, the government will no longer compensate Covid-positive people who are unable to go to work.

People with the virus should not hesitate to contact their doctor in case of unusual symptoms, or call 15 immediately if they have difficulty breathing.

People with Covid have 48 hours to send a sick-leave notice from their doctor to their health insurance fund and employer.

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Photo of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in March 2021 during Covid restrictions, credit Monaco Life


No arrivals at AS Monaco as transfer window slams shut

The transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday, with no players coming through the door at AS Monaco, whilst outgoings have also been sparse. 

It has been an atypically quiet January transfer window for Les Monégasques, who didn’t add to their existing group before the deadline on Tuesday evening. It is the first time that the Principality club haven’t recruited during the winter window since the 2004/05 season. Benoît Badiashile is the highest profile exit during this window, whilst there were further departures before the closure of the market.

Confirmed departures

Félix Lemarechal from Monaco to Brest

The young French midfielder, who captains the club’s Groupe Elite, is set to gain first-team, top-division experience at Ligue 1 rivals Brest. The player was absent from training on Monday ahead of a six-month loan deal to the club. The player is part of the long-term planning at Monaco, and the deal therefore doesn’t include an option to make the loan permanent. The deal was officialised on deadline day.

Coveted but staying

Jean Lucas linked by Foot Mercato to Espanyol, Troyes and Besiktas

The Brazilian midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at the Principality club and had been linked with a move before Tuesday’s deadline. However, none of the proposals matched Monaco’s expectations. The club wanted to sell the player, but all of the interested parties insisted on a loan. Espanyol’s loan offer included a purchase option of over €5 million, unlike the other two proposals, which were simple loans.

Maghnes Akliouche linked by L’Équipe to Rennes

The academy product had been linked with a departure throughout the window, and even during last summer. Lille have long been touted as a potential destination, but Stade Rennais also entered the fray. According to L’Équipe, the Breton club made a €6 million offer to acquire the attacking midfielder, who has a contract that runs until 2024. Rennes then upped their offer just before deadline day to €10m, but that proposal received a similar response. Monaco Life understands that the Principality club had no intention of letting Akliouche leave the club during the window, and he still forms part of the long-term vision of the club.

Photo of Maghnes Akliouche by Monaco Life


Sambi Lokonga linked by Foot Mercato to Monaco

The Arsenal midfielder has found game time hard to come by since his arrival from Belgium. Monaco, who see the midfield as a potential department for improvement, have considered the player this window. Foot Mercato have gone so far as to say that a bid was lodged. The French publication reports that that bid was rejected. Ultimately, Lokonga did move, but to Premier League rivals Crystal Palace on loan.

Abakar Sylla linked by L’Équipe to Monaco

Since Badiashile’s departure to Chelsea earlier in January, Les Monégasques have been scouting the market for a potential replacement. Sylla, who plays his club football at Philippe Clement’s former club, Club Brugge, was reportedly a name on the shortlist. Strong performances from Guillermo Maripán, as well as a return to a back four made the recruitment of a centre-back less of a pressing issue than it perhaps was at the beginning of the season. Monaco Life can confirm Monaco’s interest in the centre-back, however, Club Brugge’s demands were ultimately too high, which brought an end to discussions over a January move.

Returning loanee

Chrislain Matsima from Lorient to Monaco

Matsima joined Lorient on loan at the start of the season. However, the Monaco centre-back has only made seven starts for Les Merlus and has struggled to dislodge an established centre-back partnership. His return to the Principality club was announced on deadline day. With the club failing to land main target Sylla, Monaco saw a need to add numbers at the back, and have therefore taken the option of repatriating Matsima. He will add depth and numerically compensate for Badiashile’s departure earlier in the window.

Ultimately, Monaco’s decision not to recruit this winter was born out of a profound reflection of the impact of a player’s arrival. Whilst there were targets, it became clear that deals, particularly for Sylla, would be difficult.

Without the chance to recruit their primary targets, the club weren’t keen to panic buy and add to the squad for the sake of it. Les Monégasques currently have a functional and harmonious dressing room, and the club didn’t want to jeopardise that.

There is also the question of giving youth the chance. Should a player have been brought in, he would have been signed to compete for a starting spot, which would have potentially blocked the path of an aspiring academy product. The development and integration of youth players into the first team is a major objective at the club.


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Photo by Monaco Life

The best of the superyacht industry to be honoured with new awards

private sector monaco

The Superyacht Life Foundation and the Monaco Yacht Show have launched the nomination process for its inaugural ‘The Honours’ – an awards ceremony that “recognises the people at the heart of the superyacht industry and praises their efforts to produce exceptional work and inspire meaningful change”.

Nominations are now open for owners, crew, and industry professionals to put forward their suggestions for candidates. Honourees will be celebrated during ‘The Honours’ evening that will be hosted on 26th September 2023 in Monaco, on the eve of the Monaco Yacht Show.

A nomination for The Honours can be given to anyone within or connected to the superyacht industry who is doing extraordinary things reflecting the extraordinary nature of this global industry, such as preserving the environment, developing communities, driving conservation, advancing design and technologies, contributing to diversity and inclusion, or instigating positive change across the industry and beyond.

Among the application rules, nominees should have achieved concrete results that have a tangible link to the superyacht industry during the past five years, the focus should be on the impact, novelty, creativity of the nominees, and their willingness to create a difference within the superyacht industry.

Nominations will close on 31st March 2023.

To put forward your nominee, click here.

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Photo by Monaco Life