Every year since 2003, the Principality of Monaco has hosted the Golden Foot Awards, where the player of the year is named and footballing legends honoured. The winners are invited to leave their mark on the now famous Promenade des Champions. This year, they include a quartet of players who have already left their mark on the history of football, one of whom once wore the red and white of AS Monaco. The club decided to pay tribute to them, presenting them with Monaco shirts emblazoned with their names.
Roger Milla, the Indomitable Lion
If there's one player who truly embodies the Cameroon team's nickname, it's Roger Milla. The great striker played for AS Monaco in 1979-1980, and helped the club to victory in the Coupe de France. There, he was much influenced by the talents of one Jean Petit: "I've played alongside many great players, but he's without doubt the best I ever played with. He influenced me both as a person and as a footballer, because he had unparalleled technique". After leaving Monaco, Milla played for Bastia, St-Etienne and Montpellier among others, but it was with Cameroon that he became a household name around the world. In 1990, he was the mercurial goalscorer for the Indomitable Lions, who became the first African country to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. In 1994, he netted against Russia at the age of 42 years and 1 month, making him the oldest outfield player to have played in a World Cup match, and of course the oldest World Cup goalscorer. A record he still holds to this day!
Antonìn Panenka, the pioneer
Since he pioneered the famous shot that now bears his name in the final of Euro 1976, thousands upon thousands of footballers, amateurs and professionals alike, have tried to emulate him. Stepping up to take the Czechs' last penalty against West Germany, the Bohemians Prague star sealed victory for his team by outrageously chipping over the diving German goalkeeper, something nobody had ever attempted before. And so the "Panenka" was born! Its inventor would go on to enjoy a fine career with Rapid Vienna, winning the Austrian championship twice.
Antonìn Penanka: "AS Monaco is one of the top clubs in the French league. It's a club with a long European history too. It's a very fine team. Some of my countrymen, like Jan Koller and Jaroslav Plasil, have played for AS Monaco. They are great Czech players."
Jean-Marie Pfaff, the Belgian wall
After winning the Belgian championship with Beveren in 1979, he moved to Bayern Munich in 1982 and there achieved the pinnacle of his career, with three consecutive German titles in 1985, 1986 and 1987, along with a host of personal awards. Jean-Marie Pfaff was voted best European goalkeeper in 1983 and 1987, best goalkeeper in the world in 1987, and was named in the all-star team for the 1986 World Cup!
Jean-Marie Pfaff:"AS Monaco is a great French club, very big. I love the Principality. I've seen a lot of AS Monaco matches. Some big names have played here. With Monaco playing in the Champions League this season, it's a bonus for the city, the fans and for the younger players at the club."
Hakan Sükür, the Turkish sharpshooter
This is the man who claimed the fastest goal in World Cup history against South Korea in 2002, when he scored after just 10.8 seconds! Hakan Sükür is Turkey's all-time leading goalscorer with 51 goals in 112 appearances for his country. A true legend who spent 13 seasons at Galatasaray, he won the UEFA Cup with them in 2000, and helped the club to an astonishing eight Turkish league titles. He will always be revered in Turkey, not least for his 214 goals at Gala, but he also enjoyed successful spells in Italy with Inter Milan and Parma.
Hakan Sükür:"AS Monaco is a big club, a great team with quality players. I'm delighted to be here in Monaco today."