Remembering AS Monaco's spending spree in the summer of 2013

James Rodriguez signed for AS Monaco in 2013 for a cool £40.5m

In December 2011, AS Monaco looked doomed.

The club were rock-bottom of Ligue 2 and all hope appeared to have been lost, until Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev acquired 66.7% of the principality side.

In two-and-a-half years, Monaco went from looking doomed to finishing runners-up in Ligue 1. Not bad, eh?

Under the leadership of Claudio Ranieri, the club stormed to the Ligue 2 title in 2012/13 and then took the top-flight by storm.

Paris Saint-Germain finished nine points clear at the top in 2013/14, but it was a truly monumental effort from Ranieri’s side.

However, a lot of Monaco’s success was down to their crazy spending spree in the summer of 2013. In total, the club splashed over £130m on new players.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of those extravagant signings. All transfer fees courtesy of Transfermarkt.

1. James Rodriguez, FC Porto (£40.5m)

The Colombian playmaker arrived from FC Porto and scored 10 goals and assisted 14 more in his 38 games for Monaco, before making the club a tidy profit by signing for Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for around £70m. Great business.

Rodriguez signs for Monaco

2. Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid (£38.7m)

A huge coup for the club, but the striker was off on his travels once again in the summer of 2014 when he signed for Manchester United on-loan. A temporary spell at Chelsea followed, before El Tigre returned to Monaco in 2016. Falcao is now with Galatasaray.

3. Joao Moutinho, FC Porto (£22.5m)

Moutinho followed Rodriguez to the streets of Monte Carlo from Porto and was a brilliant servant for the club. In 2018, Moutinho bid farewell to Monaco and signed for Wolves, where he’s continued to thrive.

4. Geoffrey Kondogbia, Sevilla (£18m)

The Frenchman was decent during his two years at Monaco and he made the club a decent profit when he signed for Inter Milan in 2015 for around £25m. The all-action midfielder is now with Valencia.

Kondogbia with Monaco

5. Jeremy Toulalan, Malaga (£4.5m)

A brilliant signing. Toulalan arrived from Malaga and slotted into Monaco’s midfield perfectly. The Frenchman then joined Bordeaux in 2016 before announcing his retirement in 2018.

6. Anthony Martial, Lyon (£4.5m)

What ever happened to him, eh? After breaking into Monaco’s first-team in 2014/15, Manchester United came calling and snapped up the talented forward for an initial fee of £36m. Yet more great business from Monaco.

7. Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Valenciennes (£3.6m)

The first suspect signing on the list. Isimat-Mirin played six games for Monaco before signing for PSV on a permanent basis in 2015. The Dutch defender is now back in France on-loan at Toulouse. 

Isimat-Mirin and Carvalho

8. Borja Lopez, Sporting Gijon (£1.98m)

Another poor signing. Lopez made just one senior appearance for Monaco before joining Barcelona’s B team in 2016. The Spanish centre-back is now in the second-tier of Spanish football after returning to Sporting Gijon.

9. Ricardo Carvalho, Real Madrid (Free)

A great bit of business. The Portuguese veteran added much-needed experience and calmness to a Monaco team that was littered with new players. However, in 2016 age had taken its toll and the club opted against extending Carvalho’s stay. He retired from the game in 2017.

10. Eric Abidal, Barcelona (Free)

A key figure for Monaco during 2013/14 after signing from Barcelona but despite the club activating a one-year contract extension, Abidal was off to Olympiakos in the summer of 2014.

Abidal with Monaco

11. Gaetano Monachello, Olympiakos Nicosia (Free)

A nothing signing. Monachello never made a senior appearance for Monaco before signing for Atalanta permanently in 2015. He can now be found on-loan at Serie B side Venezia.

12. Fabinho, Rio Ave (Loan)

After impressing on loan, Monaco signed the Brazilian permanently from Rio Ave in 2015. He then went from strength to strength before signing for Liverpool in a £50m deal in 2018. Monaco love making transfer profit, don’t they?

13. Sergio Romero, Sampdoria (Loan)

Nothing to write home about here. Romero was simply drafted in as cover and played just three games before returning to Sampdoria in the summer.

Romero signs for Monaco

Not a bad summer, eh?

After 2013/14, Monaco’s team would continue to chop and change but they still managed to finish third in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.

And then in 2016/17, they finally achieved their goal of winning the Ligue 1 title, as well as making the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The summer of 2013 really did kickstart something special, but the good times have certainly come to an end for Monaco in recent years, which is a real shame.

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