The Sports in Monaco
The Principality of Monaco is a city-state located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. This micro-state is known for many activities and tourist attractions, one of which is that, the city is known as the Mecca of the rich and famous, but one thing cannot be denied and that is that Monaco is also considered a paradise for various types of sports.
The Grand Prix of Monaco
Monaco is known for the Grand Prix that is held in the streets of Monaco every year since it began in 1929. This is one, if not the most prestigious race in the world, as well as one of the most challenging due to its very narrow and tight corners. It is considered to be the most challenging track in Formula One. Motorsport is the most popular sport in Monaco.
The Monte Carlo Rally
In addition to the Monaco Grand Prix, the country is also home to one of the toughest and most challenging rallies in the world, the Monte Carlo Rally, originally held for Prince Albert I. It was the inaugural rally of the World Rally Championship (WRC, 1973 – 2008) and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (2009 – 2011). In 2012, the Monte Carlo Rally was again part of the WRC.
Monaco is also a beacon for many spectator sports such as football, rugby, tennis, chess and cycling. Due to the attraction of living in Monaco for various reasons, such as not having to pay income tax, many international sports stars have come to stay in Monaco for extended periods.
Some of the sportsmen and women who live or have lived in Monaco are Fabien Barthez, Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet, all winners of the World Cup in France. Monaco also hosts several sports such as the Monte Carlo Open (golf), the Monaco Marathon which is the only marathon in the world that passes through three different countries and the Tour de France where Monaco was the starting point in 2009.
Monaco has a national football team, however it is not a member of FIFA or UEFA, and therefore cannot enter the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championship. The team’s best international result was a 2-0 victory over Vatican City in 2013.
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (Tennis)
Founded in 1897 and held since 1928 on the clay courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world and certainly one of the most established, just behind the four Grand Slams. Attended by some of the greatest tennis players in history, the tournament is appreciated and frequented by many celebrities during the week of competition.
AS Monaco (Football)
Eight French Championship titles, five French Cups, one League Cup and one Champions League final, AS Monaco is a household name in France and around the world when it comes to football.
Some of the biggest names in the sport such as Lilian Thuram, Emmanuel Petit, David Trezeguet, Thierry Henry and, more recently, Kylian Mbappe, were formed in one of the most beautiful football centres in the industry. Led by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev since 2011, AS Monaco were crowned French champions in 2017.
Herculis Meeting (Athletics)
The event takes place every year, usually in July, at Louis II Stadium. Since 1987, under the aegis of the Monaco Athletics Federation, presided over by Prince Albert II himself, the Hercules meeting has hosted the world’s greatest athletes. Since 2010, the event has been on the Diamond League calendar, which includes fourteen meetings.
A curious fact is that, in 2008, Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva broke the world record for Pole Vault at the Hercules meeting by jumping 5.04m. More recently, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba broke the world record for the 1500m in 2015 in the sections of Louis II.