Matchs en direct

21:00

Falcao: 'Nobody believed in us, or me'

Ligue 1 > News
18/05/2017

By D. Crossan

Radamel Falcao has delighted in proving the critics wrong this season. The Monaco captain said: "At the start of the season nobody believed Monaco would be champions, nor did they believe in me; we believed."

Stade Rennais FC - AS Monaco

>> LIVE scoring and statistics from 21:00 CET on Saturday

The Colombian's simple message was delivered in the afterglow of Monaco becoming champions for the eighth time in their history on Wednesday evening. A point would have been enough for the principality club at home to Saint-Etienne; a 2-0 success ensured the title was delivered in style. Saturday's match at Rennes has been turned into a victory lap for Monaco's conquering heroes.

Falcao, with 21 goals from 22 starts, has been instrumental all campaign long, leading by example and turning down lucrative proposals from China in the January window in order to skipper Monaco to glory. Falcao, 31, continued: "We're very happy. We're French champions and we deserve to be champions. We have worked hard all season long and I think we were the best team in France this season."

Contract extensions for Falcao and Mbappé?

The challenge now for the Champions League semi-finalists is keeping the bulk of the squad together for next season, while retaining the services of coach Leonardo Jardim, only the second Portuguese to coach a club to the Ligue 1 title after Artur Jorge at Paris Saint-Germain in 1994.

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasiliyev said: "I hope Jardim stays. He's the perfect coach for our project and I have a lot of esteem for him. We are very close. Of course there will be offers made to him. I would like Falcao to still be a Monaco player next season and we're going to offer him a contract extension. We would like to extend Kylian Mbappé's deal too. We'll do everything we can to keep as many players as possible. Of course there will be some departures, but it's not the moment to talk about that."

Mbappé: 'I didn't go to a nightclub"

Mbappé, wise beyond his 18 years, spent his first day as a Ligue 1 champion with kids at AS Bondy, his first club, in the Paris region. The 15-goal prodigy said: "Two hours after we'd sealed the title I'd come down off my cloud. I had time to celebrate of course, but then maybe we don't have the same notion of celebrations. I celebrated it in my own way. Seeing the stadium full, the fireworks, all these happy people who offer you adulation and sing your name; well, that has no price, there's nothing better. But I didn't go to a nightclub."

How the summer goes is likely to determine whether Valère Germain's prediction comes true. The forward, one of those to have progressed with the club from the dark days of the lower echelons of Ligue 2 to the Ligue 1 title, commented: "This could be Monaco's era."

Costil captain, au revoir Armand

Rennes will hand the captain's armband to France squad goalkeeper Benoît Costil for his last game at the club after six years of excellent service. Sylvain Armand is back in favour for the last match of his career before retirement, but Yoann Gourcuff misses out through illness. His father Christian must also make do without the injured Ludovic Baal and Morgan Amalfitano and again feels he has no need for midfielder Clément Chantôme in his matchday squad.

Probable Teams:

Rennes: Costil; Danzé, Mexer, Gnagnon, Bensebaini; André, Fernandes, Prcic, Afonso; Sio, Mubelé

Monaco: Badiashile; Touré, Raggi, Jemerson, Sidibé; Silva, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Jorge; Germain, Mbappé

>> PRE-MATCH STATS

>> PRESS KIT








Your email has been successfully sent
OK