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From Arsenal to Man Utd: Remembering the Monaco class of ‘98

| 13.04.2015

Back before the Champions League expanded into its current bloated format and the competition became dominated by teams from Spain, Monaco made it all the way to the semi-finals with a sidefeaturing several future Premier League hits and misses.

Beaten 6-4 on aggregate by a Juventus outfit boasting Alessandro Del Piero in his pomp way back in 1998, the Principality club are set for a reunion with the Bianconeri in the same competition this week.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to roll back the clock and look at some of the big names and lesser lights that eventually moved on the England all those years ago.


Fabian Barthez

The France World Cup winner spent five years at Stade Louis II before replacing Mark Bosnich as first-choice goalkeeper at Manchester United.

He won two Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford before a loss of form saw him return to his homeland with Marseille and later Nantes.


Lilian Martin

A reliable defender during his days at Monaco, Martin later moved on to Marseille before spending a short spell in England with Derby County on loan.

He played just nine games for the Rams in the 2000/01 campaign before an even briefer stint in Scotland with Hibernian, eventually retiring.


Martin Djetou

Capped six times by France and part of the Bleus side that played at the 1996 Olympics, Djetou featured over 100 times for Monaco before eventually moving to Italy with Parma.

He later spent two seasons on loan at Fulham and was briefly on the books at Bolton before retiring in 2007.


Djibril Diawara

A bit part player for Monaco, Diawara still featured against Juventus in 1998, moving on to Italian outfit Torino the following season.

The Senegal-born defender eventually got a move to England too, spending time on loan at Bolton in 2001, where he was even sent off once in the Premier League.


John Collins

A Celtic stalwart for much of his career, Collins moved to Monaco in 1996 and helped the club win Ligue 1 the following year.

The midfielder then headed on to the Premier League, playing first for Everton and then later Fulham in the English top-flight. He’s now assistant manager at Celtic.


Ali Benarbia

Played for Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain before heading to England and Manchester City, where he helped the club make a return to the Premier League under Kevin Keegan.

He was named Player of the Year at City during their promotion campaign of 2001-02 and finished his career in Qatar.


Muhamed Konjic

A familiar name to Coventry City fans, Konjic swapped sunny Monaco for a stint in the Midlands in 1999 and rarely looked back.

He played over 135 league games for the Sky Blues during a five-year stay and was named player of the year in the 2002/03 campaign, moving on to Derby in 2004.


Philippe Christanval

Tipped as one to watch in his younger days, Christanval moved to Barcelona in 2001 but struggled to adapt to the demands of La Liga.

Consistently linked with a move to Arsenal, the Frenchman eventually arrived in London in 2005, where he spent three years on the books at Fulham.


Thierry Henry

Part of a deadly forward line at Monaco that also featured David Trezeguet and Sonny Anderson, Henry arrived at Arsenal having endured a difficult short stint in Italy with Juventus.

Won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners and is the club’s all-time top scorer.


Jean Tigana

Highly decorated as a player, Tigana spent four years as Monaco manager, helping the club win a league title and reach the last four in two separate UEFA competitions.

Appointed manager of Fulham in 1999, he helped the Cottagers gain promotion to the Premier League a year later.

Sacked by the club in April 2003 with an ugly legal battle ensuing between the two parties, Tigana went on to guide Besiktas to back-to-back Turkish Cup successes and was most recently in charge of Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.