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Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club (commonly referred to as AS Monaco or simply Monaco) is a French-registeredMonaco-based football club.

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The club was founded in 1924 and plays in Ligue 1, the

top tier of French football. The team plays its home matches at the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille. Monaco is managed by Claudio Ranieri and captained by ric Abidal. Though based in Monaco, the club is regarded as a French club, as the club plays in the French football league system, and because the principality of Monaco is not a member of UEFA.
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Monaco is one of the

most successful clubs in France, having won seven league titles and five Coupe de France trophies. The club has also regularly competed in European football having been runners-up in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1992 and the UEFA Champions League in 2004, respectively. Monaco enjoyed success in the 1970s and late 1980s during the managerial tenures of Lucien Leduc and Arsne Wenger, during which the club was amongst the leading lights of European football. Monaco's traditional colours are red and white, and the club is known as Les Rouge et Blanc (English: The Red and White). Monaco is also a member of the European Club Association. In December 2011, twothirds of the club was sold to an investment group led by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. With Rybolovlev's financial backing, the club quickly returned to Ligue 1 and brought in several top-rated players, including Radamel Falcao, Joo Moutinho, James Rodrguez, Ricardo Carvalho, ric Abidal and Jrmy Toulalan. AS Monaco FC was founded on 23 August 1924 as a unification of numerous local clubs based in France and the principality. The club's early years were spent in the amateur regional divisions of the ProvenceAlpes-Cte d'Azur region, rising rapidly between the leagues in the 1920s. In 1933, Monaco were invited by the French Football Federation to turn professional. The Mongasques' first year of second division footballended in failure however, as they were relegated to the amateur leagues the following year. By 1948, Monaco re-acquired its professional status and returned to the French second division; they subsequently consistently finished in its upper echelons, with this sustained effort resulting in promotion to the French first division for the first time in 1953. In 1960, Monaco's first iconic coach, Lucien Leduc, led the club to its first professional trophy, the Coupe de France, beating Saint-tienne 42 in extra time. This initial success was bettered in the following year with the club winning the French Championship for the first time in its history, qualifying for the European Cup. Leduc subsequently led the club to its first League and Cup Double in 1963. Upon Leduc's departure in 1963, Monaco endured a barren run, entrenched in the middle half of the league for the best part of the next decade and alternating between the first and second divisions after 1963. In 1975, Jean-Louis Campora, son of former president Charles Campora, became chairman of the club. In his second season, he brought back Leduc, who immediately won the club promotion to the first division and won them the championship the following year in 1978. Leduc subsequently left the club again in 1979, to be succeeded by Lucien Mller and Grard Banide, both of whom were unable to halt the club's decline. The early 1980s saw a steady stream of successes in national competitions. Monaco won a title almost every other year; the Coupe de France in 1980 and 1985, the French Championshipin 1982, was Coupe de France finalist in 1984. In the 198586 season, Monaco hammered Bordeaux 90, one of the biggest wins in club history.
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Disappointingly for Monaco fans, the club could not translate its domestic leadership into European success. Up to this point, Monaco had never passed the first round of any European competition. Monaco lost to Dundee United (1981) CSKA Sofia twice (1982 and 1984) and Universitatea Craiova.
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In 1986, famed Ajax manager tefan Kovcs, who succeeded Rinus Michels and honed his total football ideals with the Dutch champions, came out of a three-year "retirement" to manage Monaco, but even he could not bring them success. With the club facing a second barren spell, they signed legendary

future Arsenal manager Arsne

Wenger,

who

had

hitherto

been

relatively

unknown,

managing Nancy without much success. Wenger's reign saw the club enjoy one of its most successful periods, with several inspired signings, including future legendsGeorge Weah, Glenn Hoddle, Jrgen Klinsmann, and Youri Djorkaeff. Youth team policies produced future World Cup winners Emmanuel Petit, Lilian Thuram, and Thierry Henry. Under Wenger, they won the league in his first season in charge (1988) and the Coupe de France in 1989 and 1991, with the club consistently competing in the latter stages of the European Cup and regularly challenging for the league title. and numerous improprieties, a view that Wenger had long held.
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The club could have had even

greater success in this period, as it emerged in 1993 that bitter rivals Marseille had indulged in match fixing In 1994, after being blocked by the Monaco board from opening discussions with German powerhouse Bayern Munich for their vacant managerial post after being shortlisted for the role, Wenger was released from the club, several weeks after the post had already been filled.
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After Wenger's departure, the club went on to record two further league championships; under Jean Tigana in 1997 and under Claude Puel in 2000. However as the decade came to an end, rumours were surfacing that the club was facing numerous financial difficulties. In 2003, these financial problems came to a head. Despite finishing second in the league, the club was relegated to Ligue 2 by the French Professional League for amassing a 50 million ($68 million) debt.
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Whilst this was reduced on appeal to

a ban on purchasing players, it was enough to force President Jean-Louis Campora, who had been in charge for 28 years, to step aside. He was replaced by Pierre Svara, an administrator considered to be close to the Principality's royal family but with no footballing experience.
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The following season saw remarkable success on the field, given the clubs financial strife. The team, coached by former French national team captain Didier Deschamps and featuring stalwarts such as Fernando Morientes, Ludovic Giuly, Jrme Rothen, and Dado Pro, finished third in Ligue 1 and enjoyed a remarkable run to the final of the UEFA Champions League, beating Real Madrid and Chelsea along the way. However despite the on-field success, the 200304 season was the club's worst financial year in its history. Within 12 months Deschamps had left as coach and Svara had been replaced by Michel Pastor.
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