Interview: Monaco’s Paul Mitchell says the club’s next manager “Will be the best man for the job, not just a relationship hire” 

AS Monaco Sporting Director Paul Mitchell

A relentless, almost 12-month-long season of football has finally drawn to a close. Whilst the result on the pitch, a sixth-place Ligue 1 finish, didn’t live up to objectives, AS Monaco’s Sporting Director Paul Mitchell says he is optimistic that the foundations for future success are being laid. 

The on-pitch action is over, but it is expected to be a hectic summer behind the scenes at the Principality club. Mitchell is handing over the keys to the project to Thiago Scuro, however, before he makes his exit, he has plenty of work to do, as he told Monaco Life in a roundtable interview at the club’s Performance Centre in La Turbie on Thursday.

Monaco Life: First of all, what led you to choose Thiago Scuro as your successor? 

Paul Mitchell: So we’ve had time to look at the market and look at many different candidates. I still think globally there’s a misinterpretation of the role in general. I think you guys often hear me say things like, it’s not just signing players. In some contexts, it is, in some clubs sporting directors just sign players and hire and fire coaches, but here it’s broader. We have two football investments across two countries, and you have to have an overview of all of that. 

So when you actually go through the different components necessary to do this job, in Monaco but also have a vision into Belgium and create one aligned strategy, manage many different people across many different departments, it changes the profile somewhat. So we obviously did a very stringent interview process, we looked at multiple people with multiple profiles, Thiago is someone that I do know. I think that is clear. I was fortunate to work with him at Red Bull in the years that I was there, and through that interview process, he became the lead candidate.

He met with the President as well and he met with other members of the senior management team, and he was the standout. He was the standout for what we feel the next part of the journey needs to be. And I wouldn’t even say what the journey has been… because I’m not sure his profile was the right guy for when I came. As we built all of the structure, we’ve got a really solid platform across all the areas of performance in both clubs. It’s a different skillset; maybe a softer skillset. I think that is the profile we see in Thiago, that he has great managerial skills to bring the club to the next level, but also he has a different type of management style that can be different and new and fresh and that after three years he’s probably what the organisation needs as well.

Will it be the Brazilian that leads the upcoming transfer window?

He’s going to be here on the 30th of June I think that’s his last day at Bragantino. He arrives here on the 1st of July, the international transfer window opens a little bit after. He will lead, he’s been very fortunate because he’s had natural exposure to the Western Europe market with RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg, and has always had a phenomenal relationship… he spends time in both countries and clubs, so he knows Western Europe, he knows the style, he knows the necessities. He also has an unbelievable network in South America, so he will be leading the transfer window and once again a little bit like my role in Red Bull. Now, I’m here to support, I’m here to advise. 

When will the moment come for you to leave the club, and who decides that?

That’s a very good question, to be honest! We haven’t defined a time. And you know that’s maybe as complicated for me as it is for AS Monaco, but we wanted continuity. You know I can’t come in, as I did three years ago, and say we need stability, continuity, consistency and be the volatile element. I said to the President that I’m here for as long as they need me, to make sure we keep consistency and continuity. To make sure we stay on the right track. Then it’s probably a conversation between me and the President. [The decision on when to leave is] both of ours.

Of course, there is a lot of interest in who the new manager will be. Red Bull managers such as Jesse Marsch have been linked with the role. Is there any truth in this?

The idea is to get the best coach possible for this organisation to again push ourselves back up to where we think we deserve to be and then that’s, as you know, in the top three, challenging the top clubs and I think they’ll take their time.

I’ve seen and read the articles and I think that it’s clever from multiple sides to link my history and Thiago’s history and link us to Red Bull coaches only. It won’t be like that. We’ll always look long and far across every market including this one and try to make the best selection. I’ve seen Thiago do that, he’s worked with multiple coaches that have not all been Brazilian. It’s an organisation that hires across four different markets in Europe and South America and I know he and the boss want to have success next year. They want to push us back up to where we all believe we can be so it will definitely be the best man for the job, not just a ‘relationship hire.’ 

And are you close to an appointment? 

We’re working hard. Everybody is. The President, myself, we’re keeping Thiago updated, and all the staff as well. There won’t be many holidays this year. He and Thiago will take us into the new chapter.

Naturally, in collaboration with Thiago, you’ll be looking to strengthen the team. Given Malang Sarr’s return to Chelsea and Axel Disasi’s links to a move, will you be looking specifically at the defence? 

I think we have to focus on some defensive options. In terms of senior players, we have Axel (Disasi), people are telling me there are some clubs interested in him, and there is Guillermo (Maripán) so yes, we will be looking at the defensive side because we conceded too many goals.

We want to strengthen the team, we want to be better. We know we have a really great talent pool to go into the next season and be competitive. As I said, this owner is super ambitious, it will be Thiago’s first season, so no doubt he’ll want to be super ambitious as well, I think the players that will be here on 1st September will have a clear goal in mind to get back to where we belong on the podium. 


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Photo source: AS Monaco

Football: Thiago Scuro to replace Paul Mitchell as Monaco Sporting Director

scuro monaco

AS Monaco have announced that Thiago Scuro will replace Paul Mitchell as the club’s Sporting Director. The Brazilian will assume his duties from 1st July. 

The Principality club confirmed Scuro’s arrival in a press release on Thursday 8th June. His arrival will ensure an element of continuity with the Monegasque project given that, like Mitchell, Scuro has experience with the Red Bull system, having worked with Red Bull Bragantino since 2018.

During his time with the Brazilian club, Scuro took Bragantino from the second division to competing in the Copa Sudamericana in 2021.

Further steps towards the Red Bull model?

Once in situ, Scuro will have a busy summer ahead of him. He will uncertainly have a role in selecting Philippe Clement’s replacement. The Belgian manager was sacked after a poor run of form at the end of the season left Monaco without any form of European football for next season. Matthias Jaissle and Jesse Marsch, both experienced managers within the Red Bull model, have been linked with the now-vacant role.

There is also expected to be plenty of movement in the transfer market. Some of the key figures of the club, including Axel Disasi and Youssouf Fofana, are expected to leave, whilst there will likely be many arrivals, not only to replace those that leave, but also to allow Monaco to close the gap on their rivals for the upcoming season.

Read more:

Football: Paul Mitchell to leave AS Monaco


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Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Games of the Small States of Europe: 33 medals for Monaco

Small States of Europe

Monaco finished fourth in the Games of the Small State of Europe, winning 33 medals over the course of a week’s worth of intense competition in Malta, including 13 golds. 

With 33 medals – 13 gold, eight silver and 12 bronze – Monaco finish behind Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg. The hosts won their home tournament with an incredible 97-medal haul, which included 38 golds. The Principality finished ahead of Iceland, San Marino, Montenegro, Andorra and Liechtenstein.

Seven medals for young prospect Giulia Viacava

During these games, the majority of Monaco’s success was in the pool. It is there that the young 16-year-old prospect Giulia Viacava shone, winning seven medals (three gold, four bronze), whilst Théo Druenne (two golds) also put in some impressive performances.

Giulia Viacava, Monaco Gold Medallist. Photo credit: Manu Vitali / Monaco Communications Department

There was also plenty of success in the dojo, where Monaco won eight medals overall in the Games’ judo events. Xiaoxin Yang, one of the top-ranked table tennis players in the world, won medals in all three disciplines of the sport.

Monaco’s table tennis gold medallist Xiaoxin Yang. Photo credit: Manu Vitali / Monaco Communications Department

“These games are a success”

Amidst the elation, there was also plenty of disappointment for Monaco, with many falling just short of the podium. The Rugby 7s and basketball teams both finished fourth, as did Olivia Vild (triple jump), amongst others.

“These games are a success,” said Yvette Lambin Berti, Secretary General of the Monegasque Olympic Committee. “Our sportspeople needed to get back together after the enforced break because of the pandemic back in 2021. All of our athletes should be congratulated. The team spirit has been brilliant throughout the week. It’s a strong message, carrying hope and promise for the youth of the future,” she continued.

Many of those that stood atop the podiums in Malta will now have their sights set even higher, with the 2024 Paris Olympic Games just one year away.


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Photo credit: Manu Vitali / Monaco Communications Department

Sailing: Team Malizia four points off the lead in The Ocean Race

The Ocean Race has returned to Europe. After travelling around the world, the flotilla arrived in Aarhus, Denmark last week with Monaco’s Team Malizia within touching distance of the overall lead.

Monaco Yacht Club’s (YCM) Team Malizia are just four points off first-placed 11th Hour Racing, the current leaders of The Ocean Race. But it could have been even better for skipper Boris Herrmann and his team.

The Malizia-Seaexplorer closed the gap on second-placed Team Holcim-PRB from 40 nautical miles to just one in the dying stages as the flotilla approached the Danish shore, but ultimately, the Monegasque team couldn’t sufficiently close the gap and therefore finished third in the fifth leg of the prestigious sailing tournament.

However, it was nonetheless a leg to remember for Herrmann and all the crew. During the trip from Newport, US, Team Malizia sailed 641.13 nautical miles in 24 hours, setting the world record for covering the most distance in a monohull over a 24-hour period.

Fourth in an in-port race in Aarhus

Team Malizia are now third in the overall standings. They are three points behind Holcim-PRB and just four points off 11th Hour Racing. Everything is still to play for as the flotilla embarks on the sixth – and shortest – leg on Thursday, which runs from Aarhus to The Hague, The Netherlands.

“The fight is on,” said Herrmann. “We can still win this race. It will never be over, the final result will be decided at the finish in Genoa and we will fight until 1st July.”

However, in the meantime, the teams were involved in an in-port race in Aarhus. Team Malizia came fourth and therefore remains second in the in-port standings, behind the dominant 11th Hour Racing. Whilst the points accrued in the competition don’t count towards the overall rankings, they can be used to separate the teams in the case of a tie.


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Photo source: Yacht Club de Monaco

Formula E: First win of the season for MSG in Jakarta

Maserati MSG Racing celebate victory in Jakarta

Max Günther took the chequered flag in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday to secure Maserati MSG Racing’s first win of the season and Maserati’s first single-seater victory since 1957.

Whilst MSG haven’t hit the heights of last season, the steady improvements in performance are now reaping tangible rewards. As it has been throughout the season, it is Günther who is leading this team, despite the fact that last season it was Edoardo Mortara that was in the title race.

The omens were positive on Saturday, with Günther securing his first-ever Formula E pole position in qualifying. Whilst the German couldn’t hold the position during the race, he nonetheless took third place, whilst Mortara finished six.

However, it was during the second race of the weekend that history was made. Maserati haven’t won a single-seater race since Juan Manuel Fangio took the chequered flag at the German Grand Prix in 1957, but that changed on Sunday.

“Days like today show why you should never give up”

Once again, Günther was on pole, but this time he converted it into a race victory. Mortara added to a successful weekend for the Monegasque manufacturer, finishing eighth. The points accrued in the Indonesian capital allow MSG to rise to sixth in the constructors’ standings, overtaking McLaren and Nissan.

Günther is seventh in the drivers’ standings and has earned 70 of MSG’s 87 points this season.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with this victory. It is a fantastic moment for us as a team and a great milestone for Maserati,” said Günther.

“Today completes an incredible weekend, and our strongest performance as a team, being top in every session apart from Race One. We’ve been through many highs and lows this season, and seeing everyone pull together in the difficult times has made this victory so much sweeter. Days like today show why you should never give up,” said Team Principal James Rossiter.

MSG will be looking to carry their form into the inaugural Portland ePrix, which will take place on 24th June .


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Photo source: Maserati MSG Racing

Monaco podium celebrations: Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup

Marc Arand handing over the trophy to Harry King

BWT Lechner Racing’s Harry King was just one of the winners of an action-packed Monaco Grand Prix race weekend, and Banque Havilland CEO Marc Arand was lucky enough to be involved in the podium celebrations. 

Prior to the main event, won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Harry King was crowned the winner of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race around the narrow streets of Monte-Carlo.

The Englishman, racing for BWT Lechner Racing, beat Larry ten Voorde down into turn one at lights out and didn’t relinquish control of the race. The Dutchman finished second, ahead of BWT Lechner Racing’s Bastian Buus in third.

The trio were joined on the podium by Arand, who has been CEO of Banque Havilland since 2022. The experienced banker was responsible for handing over the trophy to King. The Monaco Grand Prix was the first of seven rounds in the 2023 season.



Banque Havilland announces new Porsche Supercup partnership


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Photo provided by Banque Havilland