Interview: Louis Ducruet, the Princely family member making his own mark on Monaco’s sporting landscape

The Princely family are synonymous with sport, from Prince Albert II’s career in bobsleigh to Pierre Casiraghi’s sailing exploits. Louis Ducruet is no different, and as he tells Monaco Life, he wants to make his own mark on the Principality’s sporting landscape.

Given the rich sporting heritage within his family, it is no surprise that Louis Ducruet has developed a strong affection for sport. The son of Princess Stéphanie and the nephew of Prince Albert II, Ducruet is a ubiquitous figure on the Monaco sporting scene. President of the Monaco Esports Federation, as well as the Barbagiuans, Ducruet has even grander ambitions to ensure his sporting legacy.

“Sport is in our blood” 

“We are a sporting family, and we’re bathed in it from a young age, so it was a foregone conclusion [that I’d have a passion for sport],” Ducruet tells Monaco Life. The Monegasque doesn’t talk of pressure to enter onto the sporting scene, but rather a motivation, given that “every member of my family have excelled in the sports that they have competed in. It’s in our blood.” However, Ducruet’s mark will be different from those left by his family members, some of whom competed in the Olympics. 

As the Monegasque tells Monaco Life, Ducruet developed an adoration for football at a young age thanks to trips to the Stade Louis II to watch AS Monaco. He recalls watching Les Monégasques at eight years old, during the team’s golden age with players including Fabien Barthez. Ducruet also played the game, featuring as a goalkeeper for a team when he played in Auron. 

Louis Ducruet playing the Fight AIDS Cup, photo credit Michael Alesi/Eric Mathon, Frédéric Nebinger, Prince’s Palace

However, Ducruet’s sporting future wouldn’t be on the pitch. “I very quickly realised that I couldn’t make a career out of being a footballer so I quickly tailored my studies towards sports business and sports management,” says the 30-year-old. “I did a Bachelor’s in sports management and when I reached the end of my studies, I had this opportunity to work for AS Monaco with Vadim Vasilyev and Luis Campos, who trusted in me and who taught me a lot.”  

Ducruet worked at the Principality club over five years, firstly as an opposition analyst, later as a recruiter, and finally, as an assistant to the vice-president. “For me, it was a dream to work for AS Monaco and to work for my childhood club. That multiplies your motivation by a thousand. There is the desire to do things well and also this fear of making a mistake. Luckily, I had people that accompanied me and ensured I learnt good things. I thank them for that, and now I’m on my own merry way with football.”

The path that he has chosen led to him to the Championship side Nottingham Forest. He joined the club back in 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, but despite spending little time on site, the experience proved invaluable. “I liked my period at Nottingham because, beyond the recruitment, which was difficult in the Championship because the budget wasn’t the same as in the Premier League, Evangelos Marinkis was a really good owner,” says Ducruet. “He loves football and his clubs Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest equally. He is involved but he won’t be stupid with his money and that’s what I enjoyed there, working with people like that who know how to manage football and don’t do stupid things.”  

“The objective was always to come back to AS Monaco”

At Forest, Louis Ducruet was part of a team that presided over the recruitment of players, mostly on loan, that would lead the fallen giant back into the Premier League, before an incredible, unprecedented window that saw 21 new players arrive at the City Ground over the summer. Ducruet played a role in some of the dealings, liaising with the sporting director as well as manager Steve Cooper. 

Ducruet left the club at the end of the summer window and is looking for his next step along a path that he hopes will eventually lead him back to his childhood club. “The objective when I left [Monaco] was to come back one day; go away to come back is what I told myself. For sure, I need to accrue more experience, be it positive or negative. Either way, any experience is good to learn from. So I want to do that and come back and do things well, because as I said, Monaco is my childhood club, and I don’t want to mess things up,” Ducruet tells Monaco Life.

Louis Ducruet with the winning Fight AIDS Cup in 2023, credit: Michael Alesi/Eric Mathon, Frédéric Nebinger, Prince’s Palace

He adds, “I am 30-years-old and I’m still young. I don’t have the pretence to arrive at the club tomorrow and take the reins of course. However, it is still an objective that I have in the back of my mind. The ideal post is that of the president, CEO, the complete management of the club and all of its aspects with a certain priority on the sporting side because it is that side that I like the most and where I feel best.” 

A ubiquitous figure on Monaco’s sporting scene

Whilst Ducruet is hoping to accrue more vital experience en route to his end destination, he is already presiding over other sporting projects within the Principality. When it comes to his involvement in the Principality’s Esports team, national pride has a big part to play.  

“It is an emerging sport,” he begins. “Now is the time to do it to avoid being too late. I wanted to do it for Monaco, for my country, so that the Principality doesn’t get left behind and so that the Principality can shine on another sporting scene. Monaco is a country of sport, for every sport, even lesser-known sports thanks to my uncle who competed in bobsleigh, and why not Esports as well? It is good to give a younger image to Monaco as well with new technologies and new fields that can help promote the Principality.” 

Away from the digital world, Ducruet’s presidency of the Barbagiuans, a team that brings together Monaco’s footballing legends for charitable matches, allows for the annual fulfilment of a life-long dream. 

“[Playing with the stars] is my bit of fun as president of the Barbaguians, I can’t lie! It’s an honour to play with players like Ludovic Giuly, Didier Deschamps and Fernando Morientes: these are all the players that allowed me to dream in 2003/04. They are all players that love Monaco so we have something in common. When I played my first game just over five years ago with the Barbaguians, my dream was to play with players like that,” Ducruet reveals. 

Louis Ducruet’s sporting legacy in the Principality may not be decided by what happens on the pitch, but off of it. His work with the Esport Federation, the Barbagiuans, and AS Monaco have firmly established this young member of the House of Grimaldi as a respected name in the Principality’s sports management scene, and it is in this domain where his mark will ultimately be made.


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Louis Ducruet captains Barbagiuans to Fight AIDS Cup victory


Feature photo credit: Frédéric Nebinger, Prince’s Palace

Turkey-Syria earthquake: Monaco Government responds to call for aid

The Prince’s Government announced on Wednesday that it is sending emergency funds to support the victims of the quake-stricken regions of Turkey and Syria.

In a statement, the government said that it is responding to the emergency appeals from both the International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) following the disaster of 6th February, adding, “The Prince’s Government has decided to support the Turkish and Syrian Red Crescent teams.”

According to the IFRC, between 15 and 20 million people are affected by the disaster in the two countries. The death toll so far stands at more than 41,000, but the United Nations says this figure could still double.

The 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck in the middle of a very harsh winter, with temperatures dropping to below zero in some regions, further weakening an already very vulnerable populations.

“The funds allocated by the Prince’s Government are intended to provide emergency aid to the victims cared for by the Turkish and Syrian Red Crescent Societies, in the form of the provision of shelter, supplemented by food aid and access to basic health services,” said the Monaco Government in its statement.

Turkey has said a total of 50,576 buildings have either collapsed or are heavily damaged following the earthquakes that first struck last week.

In a report, the country’s Ministry of Environment said all at-risk buildings need to be demolished urgently. Authorities have so far inspected more than 387,000 buildings across the 10 quake-hit southeastern provinces.

Meanwhile, there is growing anger and desperation in rebel-held areas of Syria as aid has been slow to arrive.


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Photo source: IFRC

Pension reform strikes: Schools close and transport in total disarray

pension reform strikes

The pension reform strikes rage on with more protests set to take place over the coming days and weeks. School and transport unions are leading the charge. Here’s what to expect locally.  

“Put France at a standstill” is the latest call to action by the seven main teaching unions in France, who are organising a strike intended to see a total closure of schools on 7th March unless parliament ceases to “remain deaf” to their demands on the proposed pension reforms.  

SUD Education took to social media on Tuesday with a proper battle cry, saying, “The inter-union is ready to harden the movement in education: on 7th March, put schools, establishments and services at a standstill! From 7th March, let’s completely close schools, colleges, high schools and services.”  

More immediate measures are being undertaken on 16th February,with FSU, UNSA Education, FNEC-FP-FO, Sgen-CFDT, CGT Educ’action, SNALC and SUD Education calling for “a day of interprofessional actions throughout the territory”.  

They will be joined by the eight major French unions, who are also asking workers to protest on 16th February, as well as “put a stop [to work] in all sectors” on 7th March.  

The sectors impacted on 16th February are as follows:  


SNCF trains in the south of France and across the country will be affected from 7pm on 15th. This will spill over into the next days, with an end scheduled at 8am on 17th. The company is recommending people postpone or cancel trips to avoid inconvenience, and to check ahead if travel plans cannot be altered. 


At Lignes d’Azur, trams on lines L1, L2, and L3 will run. On the bus networks, no service is provided except on lines 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 57, 64, 70, 81, 99 and Cadam East. The public transport service for people with reduced mobility, Mobil’Azur, will not run at all. The city of Nice is offering free parking on 16th to try and help ease the burden.  


No strikes have been mentioned thus far, but the possibility of last-minute surprises is not out of the question.  


Due to the ongoing school holidays, there are likely to be less protestors from Zones A and B, so closures will mostly affect Paris alone.  


Five trade unions – the National Federation of Ports and Docks, the FNIC-CGT-FSM Chemical Industries, the CGT Railway, the CGT Glass-Ceramics Federation and the CGT Mines-Energies – are calling for demonstrations, seeing electricians, gas, chemical and glass workers taking to the streets.  

With both sides digging their heels in, it appears no reconciliation in the near future is in sight, so the public will simply have to persevere and adjust to the disruptions for now.  


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Photo by Monaco Life

Monaco Economic Board and CEMA strengthen ties with Djibouti

monaco economic board

The Monaco Economic Board recently visited the East African nation of Djibouti, gateway to the second busiest maritime route in the world, where a delegation sought out new business opportunities and built on cross-nation ties.

The Monaco Economic Board was on the road from 7th to 9th February, when a delegation travelled to Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa and at the crossroads of the continent, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe via the Suez Canal. 

The trip was co-organised with the Monegasque Entrepreneurs Club in Africa (CEMA) and supported by the Embassy of Djibouti in Monaco. In all, a dozen representatives from the Principality visited this small coastal country with an eye to building on the relationships hatched last May when a delegation of Djiboutians was received in Monaco. 

The visit confirmed the potential for future opportunities, with both countries sharing many attributes, not least of which are political stability, diversity, openness to the world and modest land masses. Djibouti’s appeal is enhanced by its modern deep-water port complex, a dry port and free zones as well as a monetary system backed by the US dollar, making it attractive for financial sector development deals.  

The organisers on the ground were Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh, the president of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, along with his team, and the event took place with the blessing of the president of the republic, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.

During one stage of the visit, Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed spoke to the assembled group, explaining the virtues of doing business in his country, as did Minister of Trade and Tourism Mohamed Warsama Dirieh and Governor of the Central Bank Ahmed Osman. 

The Monegasque delegation was made up of entrepreneurs from the legal, security, ICT, import and export, transport, space, and financial service sectors. All were invited to visit the major port facilities and free zones, the Climate Observatory and Djibouti’s telecommunication infrastructure sites.  

Another highlight of this trip was, for Executive Director General of the Monaco Economic Board Guillaume Rose and President of CEMA Frédéric Geerts, a special reception with Djibouti’s president, where the three men discussed the possibilities of developing economic exchanges and strategic cooperation in scientific research, notably relating to climate change and the environment. 


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Photo source: Monaco Economic Board

Five Padel Cup tournament to feature Monaco’s Barbagiuans

five padel cup

The Five Padel Cup is coming to Eze in April with a host of special guests from the sport and business worlds as well as Monaco’s very own star-packed Barbagiuan team. 

In the wake of the ‘padelmania’ phenomenon, a new padel tournament, the Five Padel Cup, will be coming to Eze from 17th to 19th April.  

Bringing together sport, social and charitable aspects, the competition is made for anyone interested in seeing first-hand the rising stars in this exciting, fast-paced sport. With events being planned by the Eze Tennis-Padel Club and the Principality, the three-day tournament will “offer a memorable experience” to participants and spectators alike.  

As per the format, there will be five simultaneous competitions occurring at the same time. In addition to the women’s and men’s tournaments, there will also be a contest for those with physical disabilities, one for VIPs from the business world, and one dedicated to sports personalities from different disciplines, such as football and racing.  

Amongst those will be the Barbagiuans of Monaco, a group created by Prince Albert and now run by Louis Ducruet, who will have put together one or more teams. Though the teams are yet to be announced, they are usually comprised of local and international footballers, giving fans a chance to watch some of their favourite sports figures in action in a totally different medium.  

The event also will have a strong charity aspect, with a local association benefitting from some of the proceeds.  

To add an element of glamour, there will also be two gala evenings – one at Crazy Pizza, the other at Twiga – so players and spectators can mix and mingle in a casual way.  


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Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Unspalsh

The age of digital parenting: France launches platform to help families manage screen time

digital parenting

How much is OK? When does it become too much? How can I protect my children online? The prevalence of the screen use among children is a complicated topic, leading France to launch a digital parenting campaign to help parents. 

The campaign has come about “in response to the massive increase in the use of screens by young children” says the French government.  

The campaign hopes to bring the recommendations on digital parenting set out by France’s High Council on Public Health to a wider audience by broadcasting its various short films, quizzes and resources online over the next month.  

Recommendations include: 

  • Avoiding screen use before the age of three (and 3D screens before the age of five); 
  • Avoiding screens while eating, in a child’s room and for at least one hour before bed; 
  • Respecting the guide ages for films and video games; and 
  • Organising moments of shared screen use to encourage social interaction.

Guiding the campaign’s focus is a recent study commissioned by the Ipsos Institute on the difficulties encountered by parents when setting boundaries and managing screen time. In the study, 42% of parents said they were concerned about exposure to potentially offensive content, and as such, the campaign also encourages parents to familiarise themselves with the parental controls available online so as to better manage the content viewed by children.  

Of the pool of 1,000 parents of children aged three to 15 interviewed, more than six in 10 said they already take measures to ban or limit screen use.  

Check the campaign out for yourself and test out the quiz function to help you decide the best direction to take for your family.  


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Photo source: Robo Wunderkind for Unsplash