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9/26/2017

Thirteen years later, a new duel

FC Porto faces Monaco this Tuesday, the same opponent of the 2004 UEFA Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen


This Tuesday will hit exactly thirteen years and four months (or, if you prefer, 4,871 days) on the only official match between FC Porto and Monaco, which couldn’t have been better for the Dragons: a 3-0 victory in Gelsenkirchen meant the second European Champion Clubs' Cup, in 2004. The second match between these clubs, now for matchday two of group G of the UEFA Champions League, starts at 19h45, in mainland Portugal time (broadcast on RTP 1 and Sport TV 1), and will be previewed at Porto Canal, starting at 18h00. The match can then be followed live on the official FC Porto app, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. After the final whistle, the game will be analysed in Porto Canal and www.fcporto.pt will have the report and statements of the coach and players.

The record of matches is, as stated, limited - there is still a record of a friendly at Estádio do Dragão, on July 18, 2009, that the blue and whites won 3-0, with goals scored by Lukman Haruna, an own goal, Mariano González, and Fredy Guarín - but even so there are some connections linking the two clubs. The main ones concern two players from Monaco – coached by Leonardo Jardim - who have already worn the blue and white: João Moutinho and Radamel Falcao. Both left Porto with many titles, including a Europa League, and a strong connection to the club: 72 goals in official matches and earned a name Europe thanks to Estádio do Dragão. There is also another Portuguese player (Rony Lopes) and a Swiss who played for two and a half years in Portugal (goalkeeper Diego Benaglio) in the Monegasque squad, a team whose dynamics Sérgio Conceição and Ricardo Pereira know particularly well - the coach led Nantes last season and the fullback played in Nice, very close to the principality.

The 13 years (and a few more) that passed since the 2004 final in Germany, could point to unlucky number, but perhaps it is time for FC Porto to be lucky in Monaco. The club has already been there for three times, always in the European Super Cup discussion and with the same result, defeat: in 2003 (with very little luck) against Milan (0-1), the following year with Valencia (1-2), and, in 2011, against Barcelona, led by Guardiola and Messi (0-2). But there are also those who have already been happy at Stade Louis II: Aboubakar scored one of the goals that allowed Lorient to beat Monaco (2-1), already coached by Leonardo Jardim in the opening matchday of the 2014/15 French League. It would be the Cameroonian's last goal for Lorient, as, two weeks later, he landed in Porto to sign for the Dragons.

At the press conference to preview the match, which will be refereed by Slavko Vincic, from Slovenia, Sérgio Conceição made the promise that the Dragons will show their “greatness” after a false start in the competition, with a home defeat against Besiktas (1-3). In the call-up, the inclusion of Otávio is the news, as he was out of the home match against Portimonense, on Friday. You can also get to know more about Monaco history and achievements the September edition of Dragões.

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