Football: Monaco win the Coupe Gambardella

Monaco celebrate Coupe Gambardella win

AS Monaco won their fifth Coupe Gambardella with an emphatic 4-2 victory over Clermont Foot in Saturday’s final at the Stade de France. 

After successes in 1962, 1972, 2011 and 2016, the class of 2023 etched their names into the history of the club. The Monaco U18s side have had a nomadic competition this season, and haven’t played a single game at home.

The team, managed by Frédéric Barilaro and Manu Dos Santos headed up to the Stade de France in Paris as favourites, but they quickly fell behind to a goal from Robin Pages.

Under the watchful eyes of Sporting Director Paul Mitchell and General Director Ben Lambrecht, Les Monégasques drew level thanks to a finish from Mayssam Benama, before Joan Tincres gave them the lead just minutes later.

“I think the victory is thoroughly deserved.”

Benama then missed the penalty that would have handed Monaco a two-goal advantage, but that goal did come from Saïmon Bouabre early in the second half.

Colas Chastang reduced the gap before Pape Cabral killed the game off with Monaco’s fourth late in the game. The performances of some within the group, notably Ritchy Valme and Benama will do their chances of integrating into the first-team a world of good.

In the footsteps of Kylian Mbappé

After winning his second Coupe Gambardella as manager of Monaco, Barilaro praised his young side’s mentality. “I think that this victory is thoroughly deserved. For their goal, we concede from a set piece, and we’re close to conceding another straight after. The players had the mental capacity to come back into the match,” he said.

The 2016-winning side were carried by the individual talent of now-France captain Kylian Mbappé. However, the 2023 cohort have secured more of a collective victory on the turf of the Stade de France: “We can say that [it was more of a collective victory than the one in 2016], even if some players were [also] very interesting. They are still young and one must give them time to blossom,” said Barilaro.


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Photo by AS Monaco