Monaco break Clermont’s unbeaten run with comfortable victory

AS Monaco eased to a 2-0 victory away to Clermont Foot to continue their unbeaten league start to 2023, whilst breaking their opponent’s impressive run. 

Despite a notable difference in quality between the two sides, both came into the tie on top form. Neither had lost in the calendar year, but that changed on Sunday.

Les Monégasques began like a bullet train. Despite the notable absences of Vanderson and Eliesse Ben Seghir, Monaco found themselves two goals up after just 13 minutes.

In the third minute, Guillermo Maripán got on the end of one of Caio Henrique’s deadly set balls to head home with the help of a deflection. The lead was doubled just ten minutes later. Takumi Minamino, in for the injured Ben Seghir did well to win the ball and advance up the field, feeding Aleksandr Golovin, who found Breel Embolo in the box. The Swiss striker couldn’t miss the open net just a yard out after some great work by the tricky Russian playmaker.

The Principality side continued to create but lacked the clinical touch to add to their lead. However, those misses were of no consequence as a focused and professional Monaco side controlled the game and saw out the 2-0 victory against Clermont.

“I’m happy that the team learnt the lessons from the match against Auxerre and pushed until the end and not allow the opposition to have chances. We need to continue like that,” said Philippe Clement post-match.

Les Monégasques are now provisionally just one point off a podium spot. Having avoided the Auxerre and Clermont banana skin ties, Monaco’s schedule intensifies, with matches against PSG, Bayern Leverkusen and local rivals Nice coming up this month.

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Photo by AS Monaco

Monaco beat Dominican Republic in Davis Cup

The Monaco Davis Cup team lost just one set on their way to an imperious 4-0 victory against the Dominican Republic at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (MCCC) over the weekend.

The Principality’s tennis players were fighting to remain in the Davis Cup group two following their narrow defeat to Lebanon back in September. However, despite a mild scare in Valentin Vacherot’s opener, Monaco were untroubled by their Caribbean opponents, who couldn’t muster a win across the three ties.

Vacherot sets the tone

The Dominican Republic got closest to Monaco in the first match between Vacherot and Roberto Cid Subervi. Both players were strong on their serve in the opening game until the sixth game, where Vacherot had three chances to break, taking the last of his opportunities.

However, Vacherot lacked the killer touch, and despite winning the first set, couldn’t take his chances in the second. Instead, it was Cis Subervi who broke the Monégasque towards the end of the set to forge a path back into the match.

Photo of Valentin Vacherot by Monaco Life

In such moments, the home-court advantage comes into play. “When the game starts to get away from you, having the public here is great. I think they are a big reason behind my win today, and I thank them for being here,” Vacherot told Monaco Life. 

With the help of the crowd, and his vocal teammates, who roused the stands of the MCCC through their mega speaker, Vacherot overcame the nerves, reversed the trend and won the set, after breaking his Dominican opponent in the fifth game.

“Winning the first game certainly gives us the momentum. In just four matches, they now need to win three,” Vacherot told Monaco Life post-match.

Irreversible momentum

Monaco’s momentum was not halted. Lucas Catarina wrapped up the second game in straight sets  (6-3, 6-4) against Nick Hardt to give the Principality a comfortable cushion heading into Sunday.

The objective of remaining the Davis Cup Group two was achieved early on Sunday. Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys, off the back of his defeat in the Australian Open final, made light work of Hardt and Cid Subervi (7-6, 6-3) to seal the result. Vacherot, in his second match, and ultimately a dead rubber, completed the rout in three sets (6-7, 6-4, 10-8) in the fourth and final match of the one-sided tie.

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Photo by Monaco Life


New restaurant to open in Monaco: Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac

The Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo will this spring unveil a new fine dining restaurant headed by its Michelin starred chef. It will be called Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac, in homage to the hotel’s rich past.

The 137-year-old Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo is in the midst of its biggest renovation to date. Every corner of this iconic institution is getting a revamp, including its kitchens – which have already completed, and its trademark fine dining restaurant, which is soon to be completed.

The hotel opened in 1886 and, with its palace façade in the flamboyant neoclassical style typical of the Belle Epoque, the Metropole Monte-Carlo quickly became a favourite among international visitors to the Principality.

In the 1920’s, the hotel opened Les Ambassadeurs, a French gastronomic restaurant serving the who’s-who of aristocracy, diplomacy, royalty and celebrity the world over. It was also a hit with the local Monegasque clientele.

It is a story that inspired Executive Chef Christophe Cussac to pay homage to this bygone era, in the naming of his new restaurant. The chef, who has been awarded numerous Michelin stars throughout his career, will offer a gourmet contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, inspired by his own gastronomic heritage, called Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac.

Rendering of the new Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac

Cussac comes from a family of restaurateurs. His grandmother ran an establishment in an 11th century abbey, which was transformed by his father into a Relais Châteaux and gained a Michelin star. Working with legendary Chef Joël Robuchon, whom he considers his “spiritual father”, Cussac has headed many gastronomic restaurants in France, before running the kitchens of the two-starred Joël Robuchon restaurant in Monaco. Now, he is responsible for all of the Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo’s restaurants: Yoshi, the only Japanese restaurant on the Riviera to have a Michelin star, Odyssey, a poolside restaurant designed by Karl Lagerfeld, and the Lobby Bar, popular among locals and guests of the hotel.

The new restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs by Christope Cussac, will be an elegant, warm and welcoming space designed by Jacques Garcia, in the same ambience as the hotel itself. Garcia is also charged with renewing 125 rooms and suites, a major task that will require the hotel to suspend its accommodation offerings for eight months from this September.

The good news is that this new restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs by Christope Cussac, and all the hotel’s restaurants, will remain open throughout the final stages of renovation, much to the delight of locals and visitors who have come to expect nothing less than perfection from Chef Christophe Cussac and his team.


The story behind the closure of the Hôtel Métropole

Monaco Experiences: Spa Metropole by Givenchy


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Photo: Chef Christophe Cussac, credit: Aline Gerard



Monaco establishes financial crime task force in wake of Moneyval report

financial crime in monaco

As promised, Monaco has created a new task force in an effort to “step up” financial crime investigations just weeks after a Moneyval assessment called upon the Principality to “intensify efforts”.

After the Council of Europe’s anti-money-laundering body Moneyval encouraged Monaco to “further strengthen measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism, in particular when it comes to investigating and prosecuting money laundering, confiscating and recovering proceeds of crime as well as strengthening its supervisory system”, as reported by Monaco Life, the Principality has responded with the founding of a new supervisory committee that will oversee the implementation of Moneyval’s advice.

The concept of such a committee has been in the works since December 2021, but it was formally acted upon on 1st February of this year with the signing of the Sovereign Ordinance No. 9.729.

How will the new committee target financial crime in Monaco?

The committee’s primary mission is to “serve as a coordination and monitoring mechanism for all matters relating to the fight against money laundering, the fight against the financing of terrorism and the fight against the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

In an effort to target the areas in which Moneyval viewed Monaco as underperforming, the committee will also:

  • Develop and monitor the implementation of a national strategy and action plan to combat the crimes listed;
  • Request, collect and analyse statistics and all relevant information from the competent authorities to continuously assess the effectiveness of the Principality’s financial crime system;
  • Study international treaties and conventions on combating the afore mentioned crimes, and make recommendations to the government regarding their signature and ratification;
  • Coordinate with the Advisory Committee on the Freezing of Funds and Economic Resources, which is responsible for the implementation of economic sanctions decreed by the United Nations, the European Union and the French Republic, and implement such sanctions;
  • And submit an Annual Activity Report on financial crime in Monaco to the government and the Directorate of Judicial Services.

While all seems to be moving in a positive – and promising – direction, the speed at which the Monegasque government has acted on the recommendations set out by Moneyval and its near-overnight creation of the new committee has come as a surprise for some.

National Council reacts

The National Council has responded with “astonishment” in a communiqué released on 3rd February, in which it lamented the government’s alleged failure to “sufficiently inform” the council of the developments. The council has also bemoaned the decision not to include it within the first tier of influence, or First College, of the new structure. The National Council sits in the Second College alongside Monaco’s Order of Chartered Accountants, Association of Financial Activities, Real Estate Board, Chamber of Watchmaking and Jewellery, and other similar “professional organisations”.

Despite its displeasure with the ranking, the National Council has affirmed its dedication to the committee’s overall mission of fighting financial crime in Monaco, saying it “intends to play its full role within the framework of working towards the Moneyval recommendations”.



Monaco to “step up” financial crime action after damning Moneyval report


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Photo source: Mihxi Ax for Unsplash