To celebrate the systematic presence of many Monegasque supporters in outdoor parks, asmonaco.com is continuing its series dedicated to supporters of the Red and Whites. For this twelfth episode, discover Martin, a resident of Pas-de-Calais.
Almost 1300 kilometers. This is what separates Martin, alias @MRooRoo62 on Twitter, of the Stade Louis II. A very long distance which is not enough to alter the passion for AS Monaco of this thirty-year-old, who lives in Calais, where he exercises the profession of commercial. Before the trip of the Red and Whites to the lawn of RC Lens, this Sunday (9 p.m.) in 8and final of the Coupe de France, meeting with this Ch’ti fan of Flavio Roma and who will support his Club with four parts of Europe.
Hello Martin. Tell us how you became an AS Monaco supporter while living in Pas-de-Calais?
In fact, I became one through my three older brothers. I’m ten years apart from the eldest, so he took an interest in the foot well before me and, during the famous 2003-2004 season, one Saturday afternoon he suggested I go see a match with him. I had already followed football a little since the 1998 World Cup and the epic of Calais in the Coupe de France in 2000, so I agreed to accompany him. And this famous match was Lens-Monaco (0-0), a few days after the Champions League quarter-final return against Real Madrid (3-1). I was in the visitors’ sector and I fell in love with the atmosphere, the songs and the enthusiasm. It started like that and then I followed the whole epic in the Champions League by going to see the matches at my big brother’s house.
Ludovic Giuly came out a few minutes from the end and the whole Bollaert stadium cheered him on. It’s not common for the entire opposing public to applaud a player from another team, and that’s when I said that Monaco was really an exceptional and unique club.
Supporter of AS Monaco
So you started with one of the greatest seasons in the history of the Club…
Yes, and one image particularly marked me: during this Lens-Monaco match (0-0), Ludovic Giuly came out a few minutes from the end and the entire Bollaert stadium cheered him on. It’s not common for the entire opposing public to applaud a player from another team, and that’s when I said that Monaco was really an exceptional and unique club. It sped up my affection process.
With all the professional clubs in the North of France, do you still manage to find other Monegasque supporters around you?
Yes, I am far from the only one! We are about twenty in Calais, which is not bad. My friends are mostly from Lens, so it’s certain that before a match like Sunday’s, the chambering starts before, continues during, and sometimes after a few phones are turned off (laughs).
We imagine that you have to take the opportunity to go see Monaco play in Lens, Lille, Valenciennes…
You should know that at the time my brother had created an independent branch called “Les Ch’tis monégasques” and since the number of members increased over the years, it turned into a CSM section. 62-59, of which my brother was president. So I was part of all the trips that were organised, in France and in Europe.
Among all these trips, which one left you the best memory?
The one at Arsenal, in 2014-2015, where we will win 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium. We had managed to get two buses from Calais, which was quite exceptional and a first for our section. The atmosphere was crazy with the victory, the Emirates which had completely shut down, us who were singing, the President who came to see us at the end of the match… It’s really my best memory, even if I did other trips. For example, I drove 20 hours one way, and 20 hours back, in a J9 van to go to Turin. I also went to Leverkusen, Tottenham, Eindhoven,…
Have you ever crossed France to come to the Stade Louis-II?
Of course, I came a few times. My first match at Louis-II is a 3and Champions League preliminary round in 2004 against Nova Gorica, which we won 6-0. And my last meeting in Monaco was during the 25th anniversary of the Ultras against Lyon, in 2019. Ludovic Giuly was with us in Weighing to sing, it’s very nice!
During this famous match at the Emirates, shortly before entering the stadium, I was interviewed by Pierre Nigay, at the time a journalist for La Chaîne L’Equipe. He asks me for a prediction and I tell him that I see us winning 2-1 or 3-1 and that with his speed, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco could make the difference coming off the bench. It really was the perfect prediction!
Supporter of AS Monaco
The history of the Club has been marked by the passage of many great players. Which of these is your favourite?
I would say Flavio Roma, because the first time I came to the Stade Louis-II he was the first player I met in the car park. I was able to take a picture with him and it’s something unforgettable. This is what makes me have a little more affection for this player than for others. And in the current squad, I really like our captain Wissam Ben Yedder, obviously Aurélien Tchouameni who explodes month after month, but also the young people trained at the Academy like Benoît Badiashile.
Do you have a memorable anecdote related to the Club?
During this famous match at the Emirates, shortly before entering the stadium, I was interviewed by Pierre Nigay, at the time a journalist for La Chaîne L’Equipe. He asks me for a prediction and I tell him that I see us winning 2-1 or 3-1 and that with his speed, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco could make the difference coming off the bench. And we win 3-1, with a last but against our Belgian winger. It really was the perfect prediction!
𝟭𝟬 𝗮𝗻𝘀 of Presidency: 𝟭𝟬 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 keys 🔑
– AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) December 30, 2021
How do you see this Sunday match between Lens and Monaco?
It’s going to be very interesting, especially since Lens has already eliminated Lille after being down 2-0 (4 pens to 3). They are strong behind and in the middle of the field, so we will really have to respond. We will have to control this midfield. It will be a very committed and fairly open match I think. The team that will be the most realistic will leave with the qualification.