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History 30 December 2020, 11:41

When Lucien Leduc put AS Monaco on the map in France

When Lucien Leduc put AS Monaco on the map in France
The iconic coach of the Principality club, three times champion of France with the Rouge et Blancs, would have turned 102 today, on Wednesday, December 30.

He passed away a little over 16 years ago now. A former player and French international (4 caps, 1 goal), Lucien Leduc first sat on the AS Monaco bench in 1958. At that time, the Principality’s record was still devoid of titles, and it was a real opportunity for the coach from Le Portel to show his skills in management and his tactical nous. Flamboyant football, as we have known it in other times at the foot of the Rock, was embodied by him.

The precursor of the beautiful Monegasque game

His style of play was the precursor of the beautiful game, an offensive game, which would highlight the sublime talents of players such as Michel Hidalgo, Jean Petit or even, later Glenn Hoddle, Rui Barros, Marcelo Gallardo, James Rodriguez or Bernardo Silva. Less than three years after his arrival, Lucien Leduc won the first trophy for the club, with the Coupe de France in 1960. As a symbol, it was lifted at the same time as the team adopted, for the first time, the red and white jersey, the famous Diagonale imagined by Princess Grace. The following year he won the club’s first French title with the generation of Michel Hidalgo (1961).

It was the start of a golden era on the French Riviera, won over by a team that plays well and wins. Two years go by, before the iconic coach of the Rouge et Blanc delivered the first and only double to date for AS Monaco (1963). The Coupe de France thus nestled for a second time in the trophy cabinet of the Principality club, like the French league title It was a culmination for Lucien Leduc, who decided to turn the page on Monaco to try his hand with Servette, Angers, and eventually Olympique de Marseille.

A successful return in 1976

He was, however, called back to the fold in 1976, when AS Monaco had just descended into the second division. True to his reputation as a winner and maker of champagne football, he built a team worthy of the name, led by young talents from the local region. Jean-Luc Ettori, Rolland Courbis and Alfred Vitalis came up alongside legends such as Jean Petit, Raoul Noguès, Christian Dalger and Delio Onnis. Things came together very quickly and AS Monaco immediately climbed back into the elite, under the impetus of their mentor.

The most beautiful set of prizes in France

Better still, the architects of this comeback offer themselves an unprecedented performance by winning the title of French Division 1 champion in the process. It was a double over two seasons, which put Lucien Leduc among the most important part of the history of the club and indeed French football. A true monument, he would end his career at the foot of the Rock with three league titles and two Coupe de Frances. But the greatest trainer of the 1960s and 1970s also won two straight titles with OM (1971-1972), with whom he scored a second double in 1972.

He was a great man of French football, and one who perfectly symbolizes the common history shared by these two emblematic clubs of the French championship. On this day when the greatest coach in the history of the Red and Whites would have been 102 years old, AS Monaco salutes his memory. Merci Monsieur Lucien !

Jean-Louis Campora celebrates his first title as champion of France in 1978.
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