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Supporters 24 October 2020, 17:36

Raphaël: "Special to see two players trained at River Plate playing for AS Monaco"

Raphaël: "Special to see two players trained at River Plate playing for AS Monaco"
Everywhere, always! To celebrate the presence of AS Monaco's supporters on away trips, asmonaco.com is launching a series dedicated to the Red and Whites' away supporters, with a portrait before each away match The fourth episode sees us meet the Franco-Brazilian Raphaël, who is in love with River Plate and AS Monaco.

10,962 kilometers. That’s the distance which separates Monaco from Buenos Aires, the two places which capture on a daily basis the footballing heart of Raphaël. This romance began in South America for the Franco-Brazilian, born to a French father and a Brazilian mother. It was in Argentina, a country from which his father is an expatriate, that everything began to  accelerate. “When I got there, I was asked which team I supported. I said I didn’t have any because I would rather play than watch games, and I was told: ‘Okay, so from now on you are going to support River Plate.’ That’s how my love affair started.”

Marcelo Gallardo is my idol, whether as a player or as a manager. In Argentina, he was the best player at the time. Number 10, captain and with a style of play that I liked. He could dribble, do stepovers, had a great right foot and shot free kicks very well. I also always liked the fact that he would provoke opponents, there are several stories about him "
Raphaël

And AS Monaco, then? “At the time, TV5 Monde was broadcasting one match per weekend from the French league. My father was always watching. The first one, I think it was  Monaco – Nantes. Seeing the jerseys, I said to myself that they looked like River Plate. It interested me a bit and that’s how I started to follow AS Monaco.”  A season ticket holder for five seasons at River Plate during the ten years he lived in Argentina, Raphaël returned to France in 2011, while his two teams were both in the second division. “When I got back, I told myself that the team I was going to follow in France was going to be Monaco. And little by little, I started going to the stadium.”

The famous framed jersey, worn by Marcelo Gallardo

His first match seeing AS Monaco took place some time after his return to France. “It was AS Monaco – Rennes, at the Stade Louis-II. Rennes played in black, and it ended in a draw,” remembers Raphaël. “I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere. It is true that it’s not comparable to that of the South American stadiums, but I found that, even if it was obviously different, we did not have much to envy at the Stade Gerland, where I went regularly to see matches.” Recently graduated with a degree in sports management, the 25-year-old took a liking to it. And his fondest memories with AS Monaco would come shortly thereafter …

“Between the two matches, I went up to La Turbie with a River Plate jersey on. It caught the eye of Falcao, with whom I spoke in Spanish and who had told us that he was going to bring us the title. I had been pleasantly surprised to hear that he was still following River Plate games, because he had told me about a River-Boca match that had taken place during that week. It impressed me that such player was open to that sort of dialogue."
Raphaël

“It was also at the Stade Louis-II. I went down with a friend for the two matches against Lille and Saint-Etienne, the title season. It’s a moment we were waiting for, among all the matches This moment really made its mark on all the supporters,” recalls Raphaël, who had spent a few days on the Rock to take advantage of this magical moment. “Between the two matches, I went up to La Turbie with a River Plate jersey on. It caught the eye of Falcao, with whom I spoke in Spanish and who had told us that he was going to bring us the title. I had been pleasantly surprised to hear that he was still following River Plate games, because he had told me about a River-Boca match that had taken place during that week. It impressed me that such player was open to that sort of dialogue.”

Raphaël with Radamel Falcao at La Turbie

Ramon Diaz, Javier Saviola, Lucas Ocampos, Radamel Falcao“. Many players have played for the two clubs. “Ten,” Raphael guesses. “Ocampos arrived the year before Falcao when we were in Ligue 2. He was 16-17 years old and had just had a full season in the second division with River. He had carried the team and I thought it was crazy that ‘a team like AS Monaco is going to look for a player of that age. I was happy when Ocampos arrived, but then when Falcao had then signed, it impressed me because he was in my opinion one of the best strikers in the world. It was really special to see two players who had trained at River Plate playing for AS Monaco.”

If there is one match against OL that stood out to me, it was the title season when Mbappe had beaten Diakhaby. I was in the parking lot and my family was in the stadium in the stands. Winning against Lyon gave room for family, friends, colleagues to experience more the next day...
Raphaël

But among all these players who have worn the diagonal of the two clubs, there is one who has impressed Raphael most. Marcelo Gallardo, who he honors as well with his twitter handle. “He’s my idol, whether as a player or as a manager. In Argentina, he was the best player at the time. Number 10, captain and with a style of play that I liked. He could dribble, do stepovers, had a great right foot and shot free kicks very well. I also always liked the fact that he would provoke opponents, there are several stories about him,” says Raphaël about the man who wore the colors of AS Monaco between 1999 and 2003, and who “today is breaking all records with River Plate as a coach.”

This is how his friend from ASMonacollection gave him probably one of his best birthday gifts. “I have several jerseys, like Wissam Ben Yedder’s from when we drew 3-3 in Paris, a match that had also impressed me. I also have those of Cesc Fabregas and Guido Carrillo. My favorite is that of Marcelo Gallardo, when, we won at the Parc des Princes and he hit a curling shot For my birthday, he had managed to get it and it was a beautiful gift. What’s more, you can still see the grass stains. I have framed it. I don’t know the smell it can have, but it must not smell good anymore (laughs).”

 

The same diagonal, the same colors, two historic clubs from their respective countries, a lot of players who have played for the two clubs … This is the story that links River Plate and AS Monaco, and Raphaël to these two clubs. Living in Lyon, the Franco-Brazilian will not be able to be at the stadium this weekend due to the curfew in place in the Rhône area. “If there is one match against OL that stood out to me, it was the title season when Mbappe had beaten Diakhaby. I was in the parking lot and my family was in the stadium in the stands. Winning against Lyon gave room for me to brag to my family, friends, colleagues more the next day…” May the same befall you on Monday, Raphaël and the rest of our supporters. Partout, Toujours!


Find your local Triangle Intérim in Lyon at 65 Cours Gambetta:

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