Saturday, January 30, 2010

AS Monaco finished second in Group B of the Second Division and was promoted after a play-off. Strange club AS Monaco – often champions, but also often relegated. Yet another breed of club: those relatively rare ones, which are never consistent. Just as soon as they flew high and plummeting begins. Then rising again. And sinking again. And so on. AS Monaco, at least by the names of the players, seemed better team than either Troyes (which finished above them in Group B) or RC Lens (not direct opponent this year, playing in Group A) – but they struggled to ensure return to top football.
Top, left to right: Chomet, Mosca, Texier, Polny, Chlosta, Delachet.
Bottom: Dalger, Villa, Ruiter, Jean Petit, Claude Petit.
Some experienced first division players – Mosca, Polny, Chlosta; some up and coming talent – Dalger, Jean Petit; one veteran foreign player – the Brazilian Ruiter was in France since 1968, when he was the first ever Brazilian to play for Girondins de Bordeaux. Surely not a star – not by Brazilian standards at least – but apparently adjusted to French football, of which he lived to see not only First Division. One player of this squad reached fame – Dalger became regular national player in the second half of the 1970s. Hard to imagine him in the Second Division now, yet, perhaps it was similarly unimaginable to see him at World Cup finals in 1973.