Guest post by Martino Simcik Arese
In recent years AS Monaco FC has become known for their billionaire Russian owner and signing contracts exempt from taxation for some of football’s biggest stars. The 18,500 Stade Louis II and its surrounding neighborhoods filled with wealthy expats and nouveau riche tourists, are not exactly traditional breeding grounds for a passionate supporters group. However, last night the Monaco faithful surprised us all with an amazing showing of away support.
Over 3,000 people arrived from the Principality to root on their red and whites. The supporters of Ascoli with whom they share a fan since 2012, were on hand as well, adding to the collective pre match fervor. One hour before the game, fans had already filled up the away section of the Emirates stadium; top section in red, bottom section in white. The 1-3 romping that followed fittingly reflected the spirit in the stadium.
A true celebration of supporters culture unfolded in the Emirates away end. The mix of beer and reaffirmed friendships became the backdrop to an underdog story that those present will not readily forget. In a subculture that values reputation and status above all else, the Monaco Ultras were the real winners last night. The supporters organized a display that will be talked about in bars and café’s all over Europe this week. Their team followed suit pulling out a historic result.
Football is a celebration, and following the chaos in Rome last week, we needed this reminder. The choreography last night was entirely organized by the supporters, who used the opportunity to create something beautiful. These instances need more attention, because they are the moments that should define football fans.