With the red and white Diagonal designed by Princess Grace adorning its jersey, AS Monaco dominated French football in the first half of the 1960s. Even if the end of this decade was more challenging, the Rouge et Blanc were now at the top table.
“La Diagonale” brings good luck
It was during the 1960-1961 season that AS Monaco introduced its legendary diagonal jersey, designed by Princess Grace and quickly adopted by the team. It was also during this season that the club won its first French, also lifting the Drago Cup for the first time and participating in international tournaments in the company of the best European teams — the team was now receiving international recognition.
Europe and the Coupe Gambardella
In 1961-1962, AS Monaco had its first European experience in the European Cup. Drawn against Glasgow Rangers, the Rouge et Blanc lost twice by the score of 3-2, but not without showing their mettle. Too, even if the first team won nothing that season, it was the Monegasques youth side who would bring home a cup as AS Monaco won the Coupe Gambardella following a victory over FC Metz in the final (2-1).
A historic double
1962-1963, though, remains the standard by which future seasons would be judged. AS Monaco would record their first (and only, for the moment) double in the team’s history. The squad remains etched in our memories: Artélésa, Biancheri, Carlier, Casolari, Cossou, Courtin, Djibrill, Douis, Forcherio, Hernandez, Hess, Hidalgo, Taberner, Théo and Thomas, and of course Girod, Péretti and Sottimano, all under the watchful eye of Lucien Leduc. The team also won the Teresa-Herrera Trophy, hosted by Deportivo La Coruña and one of the most legendary tournaments in the world, by beating the Brazilian side Vasco de Gama in the final. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, the team would lose the coach, President and a few important players.
A difficult aftermath
During the following season, AS Monaco nevertheless achieved a real feat by winning 7-2 against AEK Athens on the occasion of their return to the European Cup. This was AS Monaco’s first victory in European competition. Qualified for the round of 16 after a 1-1 draw in the return leg, the Rouge et Blanc then lost to Inter Milan, who would go on to win the competition. Enjoying a great international reputation, AS Monaco were invited to participate in international tournaments and matches in Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Belgium and even in the Netherlands. But despite finishing in second place in 1963-1964, the team languished in the bottom half of the table for many years and in 1969, sixteen years after leaving it, AS Monaco returned to the Second Division.