Advertising »

Thiago Scuro and his impact on AS Monaco’s renewal

AS Monaco CEO Thiago Scuro © AS Monaco)

In our new series of articles, we are looking at three key people who contributed to the success of AS Monaco this season. In this article, we turn our attention to AS Monaco CEO Thiago Scuro.

Having been appointed AS Monaco’s director of football back in June of 2023 and the club’s CEO in October 2023, Thiago Scuro’s time at AS Monaco has been full of positives so far. He has been overseeing many of AS Monaco’s activities, including sports and business, reporting directly to President Dmitry Rybolovlev, whose involvement in the renewal of AS Monaco has enabled the team to play a leading role in Ligue 1 once more.


Big shoes to fill

Taking over from Paul Mitchell, Scuro, who did a superb job in his homeland in Brazil with Red Bull Bragantino, has slotted in nicely to play an integral role in helping Les Monegasques secure their passage into the Champions League proper for the first time since 2018/2019.

Advertising »

“The group stage of the Champions League is the goal,” insisted Scuro at the beginning of the campaign. “Since day one, the president’s message has been very clear on this. The club must constantly be in the Champions League group stage. It changes everything in terms of what we want to do. Next season will be the centenary. Qualifying for the pools on this occasion will be special. We are working hard to achieve this.”

Adi Hütter and Thiago Scuro are already accomplices at their first press conference (Photo © AS Monaco)

“We must first look at the end of last season, which left many scars on the players. Nobody was happy with what happened. Since day one, this feeling was very strong on the training ground. Everyone wanted to show that we can do better, do more and work together in a different way. What happened last year is the first ingredient of what we have been building since July 3. And I think the way we approach the players when it comes to transparency, always talking individually and collectively, is also key. The basis is the idea of ​​the game, it all revolves around the type of football we want to offer. The new recruits are totally linked to this idea of ​​play, which has also contributed a lot to improving the level of training sessions and achieving good performances.”

Mission accomplished

Fast forward to last weekend when ASM turned their dreams into a reality, and Scuro rightfully cut a delighted figure. “I am very happy indeed! It was a difficult season coming to an end, with ups and downs, but we managed to meet our challenge,” he reflected.

Advertising »

“It’s really very positive to be here today and to validate this second place for AS Monaco, especially since it’s been a long time since the club showed so much consistency throughout the year. We did a good job with this group, which showed a lot of qualities, with many experienced players or those from the academy. This represents what the institution is all about and we are happy to write a new chapter in its history.”

thiago-scuro (2)
Scuro spoke two days after the last match of the season to share his thoughts on a successful campaign (Photo © AS Monaco)

Despite initial scepticism about his appointment to replace his high-profile predecessor, Scuro hasn’t let this bother him, instead handling the transition smoothly and immediately focusing on the task at hand of elevating ASM to be the best they can be.

Advertising »

Relationship with the President and Hutter

Scuro quickly struck up a strong relationship with president Dmitry Rybolovlev and manager Adi Hutter. The fact they all share similar principles in terms of wanting the team to play an attacking brand of football and be an exciting side for the fans, plus want the communications channels to be honest and clear, has seen the trio dovetail smoothly.

“The president has been very important and very present for us this season. He sometimes came to attend training sessions and was always close to me and Adi Hütter, plus always supported the players, especially in the locker room. He was always involved in the big decisions made this season and helped us progress, especially after the elimination in the Coupe de France against Rouen. We had meetings at that time with key players in the squad, as well as the coach and myself. He has always been behind us and has played an important part in us achieving this goal of returning to the Champions League,” Scuro acknowledged.

Advertising »
The AS Monaco President Dmitry Rybolovlev at La Turbie alongside Thiago Scuro (Photo © AS Monaco)

Scuro then added this on the Austrian tactician: “On a personal level, first. He is a very good person, easy to work with, to share ideas and the club’s strategy. It is important that the coach is linked to the management of the club. This relationship has worked very well from the start and I have confidence in his type of football. This makes our interactions and decisions much easier. We want the same things, He’s also able to convince the players about his methods pretty quickly, which isn’t that easy. That the management, the coach, the staff and the players are aligned on the same principles is certainly the path to success.

“He came with a very individual approach for each player. They feel respected by him as a person and as a coach. His door is always open to the players to discuss and express disagreements and points of view. This helps create an honest environment, which is important.”

Thiago Scuro and Adi Hutter (Photo © AS Monaco)

On the same page in terms of finding a good balance in the squad between providing the framework for their many elite younger players to flourish, such as Maghnes Akliouche, Eliesse Ben Seghir, Kassoum Ouattara and Soungoutou Magassa, and ensuring the squad has plenty of established, experienced operators, all is going to plan here too.

“We want to maintain a good mix between experience and youth, because this corresponds to the history of the club and this is how we want to move forward. Bringing along young talents is part of AS Monaco’s DNA, but above all, we must remain efficient on the pitch,” asserted Scuro.

“We will continue to maintain a certain balance between the two to continue our momentum.”

Support of the coach

While it hasn’t all been plain sailing and there’s been plenty of challenges along the way, with the team experiencing some downturns in form, losing players to AFCON and the Asian Cup and suffering key injuries to the likes of Breel Embolo, Caio Henrique, Aleksandr Golovin and Ben Seghir, the support and patience of Scuro has been vital for Hutter to continue working in harmony to repay the faith placed in him.

Some other demanding moments Hutter’s had to navigate has been dropping goalkeeper Philipp Kohn for Radoslaw Majecki, finding a solution for their woeful home record, where they went winless for 126 days at the Stade Louis-II, and shoring up their, at times, leaky defence.

Honest in his assessment that refinements need to be made, Scuro spoke insightfully on the topic in his recent press conference, announcing: “Now our objective is to take a step back from this season, because the result is there, but obviously we have a lot of things to improve. We have gone through more difficult times and we want to understand why, in order to show more continuity and regularity next year. We have shown our ability to react, but we want to control things more, because the expectations will be higher and higher.”

thiago-scuro (1)
“Becoming sporting director and then CEO of AS Monaco was a very important personal achievement” (Photo © AS Monaco)

When asked on his favourite memories of the campaign, it was interesting to hear Scuro’s answers, for he stated: “If I had to say one, it was definitely my introduction to the press, which was a special moment for me. Becoming sporting director and then CEO of AS Monaco was a very important personal achievement.

“But I also have to say our win in Nice in the Derby was a turning point in our season for this group. After this match, we showed how strong we are. So if I had to take out two moments, one more personal, and the other more collective, it would be these two.”

Exciting future

With his first season now in the books, all eyes will turn to the transfer window to bolster the squad ahead of what will be a very demanding 2024/2025 season, where they’ll need to smartly juggle their domestic and European adventures.

Needing to potentially inject depth, quality and experience into the squad to supplement their already quality-filled ranks, it’ll be intriguing how he approaches this task, which will be easier said than done in the ultra-competitive current market. While it’ll be tough to replicate the success of his first year, which saw the likes of Denis Zakaria, Wilfried Singo, Folarin Balogun, Thilo Kehrer, Mohammed Salisu and Ouattara arrive, he’ll be doing his best to secure some smart additions.

“The market is very dynamic at the moment and we do not control everything, but we must act in good time. Competing in the group stage of the Champions League is a big challenge, like what we have just accomplished by finishing at the top of the Ligue 1 standings. We just want to write the next page of the history of AS Monaco,” he stated.

Proving himself to be an astute operator, who does his due diligence to identify players that fit the profile of the team he’s working for at the right price, expect Scuro to bring in some shrewd signings in the summer.

Thiago Scuro and Thilo Kehrer (Photo © AS Monaco)

It’s also important to note how the management of the club (Hutter, Scuro and Rybolovlev) has helped ensure the players have not only kept their market value, but in many cases, increased their worth significantly, which is always a good sign in the modern game.

It’ll be especially interesting to see if Scuro uses his vast knowledge of Brazilian and South American football to make some crafty buys to reinforce the team.

When discussing his plans for the upcoming window, it was fascinating to hear his opinion on the matter, with him notably seeing no real need to make wholesale changes to the squad, just minor alterations. “We want to stay strong! We have the ambition to sign new players. Our needs are guided above all by our performances, which we constantly analyse throughout the season. We have currently been working on the transfer window since February with the recruitment department, myself, Carlos Avina, Adi Hütter and the assistant coaches. We have a pretty clear plan for this summer,” he divulged.

“Considering the fact that a team involved in two competitions generally uses between 20 and 21 players, we are sufficiently armed in numbers. Paris, for example, only used 19 players this season, to compete in three competitions. If there are departures, they will naturally be replaced, but we do not intend to increase the number of players in the group. Particularly because we still want to rely on the Elite Group, which provided us with a lot of players this season in periods when we needed them.

“We have an idea of ​​which positions and profiles we want to recruit for. I don’t think Monaco needs a lot of extra players, honestly. We have a solid and strong team, and there will be no CAN or Asian Cup next season. But what is certain is that those who join us will add value to the team. We want players with character and capable of giving the coach the opportunity to modify his way of playing depending on the opponent.”

Content in his surroundings and with how things have gone so far despite there being shortcomings in the team to be addressed on the defensive end particularly, Scuro’s clearly enjoying the role and moulding the side in his and Hutter’s defined, attackingly geared, front-footed image.

Kassoum Ouattara and Thiago Scuro (Photo © AS Monaco)

“What I feel today is that the players have bought into the idea of play and are aligned with our objectives for the season. Our coach, Adi Hutter, has a very clear philosophy of play with natural leadership, and this is reflected on the pitch. We want to continue to progress in this direction, and grow with these concepts,” Scuro told the AS Monaco website earlier in the term.

“The idea that we want to develop is to play aggressive football, a style of football resolutely focused on the offensive side of things. This way of playing creates many chances, and we have very good players ready to exploit them to score. And at the back we are working hard to defend as a team, in the best possible way. Everyone is playing together, whether in attack or defence. It gives us the consistency to attack well this season.”

Shining in all areas

Placing high value on human relationships, communication and on creating an environment to build success, the 42-year-old is doing all he can to put Monaco on course to scale even greater heights next season.

The fact he’s played an important role in developing and strengthening links with the local community through numerous events organised by AS Monaco.

Thiago Scuro with the participants of the ÜNSEME programme (Photo © AS Monaco)

What’s more, he’s also been on hand to cultivate the club’s relationships with the sponsors, which his attendance at the Bang & Olufsen event underlined.

Although it won’t be easy to keep along this upward trajectory, many of the signs are positive that Monaco are on the right path with Scuro running the football operations, as he and Hutter are proving a perfect pair to take ASM back to the upper echelons of French and European football – right where they belong.