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Caio Henrique ready to return to top form after injury-interrupted last season

Caio Henrique’s devastating ACL knee injury came at the worst possible time last season, for not only was he in arguably the best form of his career, but he’d also just received a long-awaited Brazil call-up.

Having been in sensational form on his way to supplying five assists in the first nine Ligue 1 matches of the season before being struck down in September against OGC Nice, it was so sad to see the flying left wing-back/full-back forced out.


After undergoing surgery shortly after, the 26-year-old immediately began his long and challenging road to recovery. “It was very difficult because I felt good before my injury, I was even a part of the Brazilian national team. I was mentally affected since I couldn’t help my teammates in more difficult times. Luckily and after a lot of work, I was rewarded and the club will also return to the Champions League,” he explained at the end of the campaign.

Although he was sidelined for over six months, the journey to get back to full fitness was helped by going through it all with teammate Breel Embolo, who suffered a similar injury.

Related Reading: Fully fit Embolo flexing his muscles for Switzerland at Euro 2024

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“The truth is that it brought us closer. A knee injury is always difficult for a player and the staff helped us every day to come back. The most challenging thing was to manage mentally. Everyone was very present for me, it was important to keep in touch with the players,” Henrique reflected.


All his hard work, perseverance and patience when undertaking his arduous rehabilitation eventually paid off when he made his highly anticipated return to action against Clermont Foot when he came off the bench following 196 days on the outer.

The Brazilian then ended the season on a high note, as coach Adi Hutter granted him a deserved start in the final league game of the term vs. Nantes. Henrique emphatically vindicated his manager’s decision and marked the occasion by grabbing an assist in a match where he was instrumental towards the crushing 4-0 victory.

“I was very happy to play this full match after seven months of absence. Playing with my teammates and getting back into competition was very important for my mind. I also had an assist. I was able to help the team. I am also happy with the victory, it was an important match with a great atmosphere. The Prince was there too. I think it was a job well done. Now we are going on vacation to be ready to prepare for the new season,” insisted the delighted Henrique.

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Eager to make up for lost time and hit the ground running for the new crusade, all his focus has now shifted to pre-season training to ensure he’s primed to shine when the new term kicks off in August.

With a hugely exciting season ahead, which will see Les Monegasques back in the Champions League again, Henrique will be desperate to recapture his best.

The man who’s unquestionably one of the finest wide defenders in European football is ideally placed to do just that within Hutter’s offensively geared framework that suits him perfectly.

Related Reading: Adi Hutter: Everything you need to know about the AS Monaco manager

Relishing the freedom to maraud upfield and impact proceedings with his exceptional passing and chance creating prowess from open play and set pieces, this, in combination with his crafty dribbling, should ensure he wreaks havoc in the final third in trademark fashion.

“The coach was very important this season, he helped stabilise the group by maintaining all the players involved. His goal was to win every match, he passed that on to us and that’s partly why we are here. I feel good in the game system advocated by the coach, who wants to play offensively. With Vanderson, we can exploit our qualities more, this allows us to bring more attack in our corridor. We feel really good in this philosophy,” he said recently on the system that maximises his strengths and gets the best out of him.

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Such a menace with his intelligent movement to provide width and depth to attacks and dovetailing superbly with his colleagues, that sees him rotate infield to embark on slick underlaps to supplement his dynamic overlaps, this makes him a tough man to keep tabs on.

Moreover, his worth is amplified in build-up, where he knows where best to be situated to generate numerical and positional superiorities, plus uses his progressive distribution to help his team beat the press.

Such an integral component of Hutter’s side and one of the first names on the team sheet when fully fit and healthy, expect the complete, multifaceted defender to be a key figure next campaign.

With him already in training and Monaco playing their first friendly this weekend, it all starts now in his quest to get back to his free-flowing best.