The club’s President came to watch ASM’s penultimate training session.
It’s the final straight for ASM. On Thursday 19 May, the red and whites had a training session for the match against Lens on Saturday 21 May. Everything hangs on the result of this one match, which will wrap up the season: Philippe Clément’s men, currently in second place in the Ligue 1 standings, need to win to have a chance of going through to the Champions League. But it’s not quite that straightforward. Even if they win, they need to get a better result than Marseille. If they lose, they will need Marseille to lose too, but keep their superior goal difference over Marseille, and for Rennes not to win.
Monaco will still qualify for the Europa League if
– they draw and Marseille win, or
– they win and Marseille win with a better goal difference overall, or
– they lose, Marseille doesn’t, and Rennes doesn’t win.
There is no room for complacency: the club’s president, Dmitry Rybolovlev, came to see Wissam Ben Yedder and his teammates train on Thursday at the La Turbie performance centre, to encourage them over this final hurdle, along with technical director James Bunce and sporting director Paul Mitchell.
The players can also count on the unfailing support of their fans: more than 300 supporters, including schoolchildren and members of amateur clubs in the region, were invited to the Stade Louis-II on Wednesday 18 May to watch the training session. In a real moment of camaraderie between the footballers and their fans, the session ended with a selfie and autograph opportunity, much to the delight of the supporters.
All that remains is to give their all this Saturday, during this crucial match. But the red and whites remain confident. Striker Kevin Volland said at a press conference on Thursday: “We are looking forward to playing this game. It will be like a final. The Lens team is also very much in form, and we play football to play these kinds of matches. We really want to qualify for the Champions League, but there is no sense of nervousness. We just want to enjoy this moment.”
“The President is there to support us, which we greatly appreciate. We are in a decisive period and having him with us is very positive for the whole team,” added ASM’s German striker.
Coach Philippe Clément also stresses that despite the club’s recent nine-game winning streak, the team’s focus is absolute. “I’ve seen the training sessions, everyone remains focused. (…) I have no doubt there’s not a single player who doesn’t understand the importance of this match. (…) For me, the most important thing is to do the best we can. (…) I’m pleased that we are already sure of the Europa League at least, but I really hope we get to the Champions League.”
The coach also said he would like to bring even more fans into the stands. For those who can’t make the trip, the match will be broadcast live on a giant screen at the Stade Louis-II on Saturday night. Doors open from 8 pm, and there will be a lot of pre-match entertainment, with cheerleaders, a refreshment stand, and a photo booth.
- Free for season ticket holders. Tickets can be picked up at the ticket office from Saturday 21 May (2 p.m.)
- Entrance fee: €5 – Tickets can be bought via online ticket sales or at the Stade Louis-II ticket offices.
- VIP rate: €70 – Apply by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org