Monaco won their first Ligue 1 title since the year 2000 last season, upsetting the odds to pip financial heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. The blend of youth and experience in the Monaco side made them one of the most exciting and efficient teams in Europe, with the strike force of Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe firing them to the Champions League semifinals.
But this is a new season. The star players of last year have moved on to bigger clubs for more money and Monaco must start again. They have reinvested well, with some promising youngsters arriving at the club, so maintaining their new European status is a realistic target as you take charge of the Monegasques on FIFA 18’s Career Mode.
It’s a 4 ½ star rating for Monaco, reflecting their 80 overall. This consists of a 79 attack, 81 midfield and 78 defence.
Monaco found success last season with a simplistic 4-4-2 formation, and you should stick with this on FIFA 18. You can opt to drop one of the strikers into a deeper role, so a 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 are possible alternatives.
Danijel Subasic is in goal, with Djibril Sidibe, Kamil Glik, Jemerson and Jorge making up the back four.
The pacey Thomas Lemar (86 acceleration) and Keita Balde Diao (93 acceleration) provide the width, as Fabinho and Joao Moutinho take their places in central midfield.
Summer signing Stevan Jovetic joins the prolific (87 finishing) Radamel Falcao up front.
On the bench you should go for Diego Benaglio, Andrea Raggi, Almamy Toure, Youri Tielemans, Rony Lopes, Rachid Ghezzal and Adama Diakhaby.
With a 4-4-2 formation, you are looking to be defensively organised and hit your opponents on the counter-attack. The pace of wide players Thomas Lemar (85 agility) and Keita Balde Diao (92 sprint speed) will make them your main outlet, and you should then look to feed your strike pairing.
Stevan Jovetic (84 dribbling) can beat players, whereas Radamel Falcao (90 heading accuracy) is deadly from crosses into the box.
Your central midfielders are well balanced, with Fabinho (88 standing tackle) able to win the ball back early and Joao Moutinho (84 short passing) looking to play in your attacking players.
Training provides you with the opportunity to improve your players, especially those who don’t receive regular first team minutes. To make the most out of your sessions use the high growth players in your squad, and at Monaco these include Thomas Lemar, Keita Balde Diao, Fabinho, Youri Tielemans and Jorge.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £31 million
Starting wage budget: £86,000 a week
Who should go
Monaco’s budgets could do with some topping up so look to sell off the fringe players in your squad. All of Raphael Diarra, Seydou Sy, Mehdi Beneddine and Loic Badiashile can be let go, and you can collect a combined £1.4 million for all four of them and save £13,000 a week in wages.
With plenty of young talent at Monaco, you should look to loan out those who won’t receive many opportunities this season. This includes Francesco Antonucci and Moussa Sylla, who can both go on to reach a potential of 81, so you will want to make sure they get the chance to develop.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £32 million
New wage budget: £99,000 a week
Starting left back
With Benjamin Mendy heading for Manchester City in the summer, and the young Terence Kongolo loaned to Huddersfield, your left back options are limited at Monaco. The 21-year-old Jorge is not ready to be your first choice with an overall of 74, so look to bring in a more established replacement.
Zenit St. Petersburg’s Domenico Criscito should do the trick, with the Italian holding an 81 overall rating. This consists of 90 stamina, 83 sliding tackle and 82 standing tackle, and the 30-year-old will cost £17.2 million with wages of £59,000 a week.
- Aleksandar Kolarov – Roma, Age 31, OVR 81, POT 81, Cost: £17.2 million, Wage: £59,000
- Leighton Baines – Everton, Age 32, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £13.4 million, Wage: £97,000
- Marcel Schmelzer – Borussia Dortmund, Age, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £16.5 million, Wage: £56,000
- Stefan Radu – Lazio, Age 30, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £16.5 million, Wage: £48,000
- Nacho Monreal – Arsenal, Age 31, OVR 80, POT 80, Cost: £16.7 million, Wage: £97,000
Three players have contracts running out at Monaco, and you should only be renewing one of them. Joao Moutinho may be 30, but he still has a few seasons left in his legs so look to give him a two or three-year extension.
Raphael Diarra can only hit a potential of 73 and Seydou Sy will only get to 72 so you should look to sell the pair straightaway. If you can’t shift them, just allow their contracts to expire.
The domestic success objective at Monaco is the most important, and you will be asked to win the league title and reach the final of the Coupe Nationale.
European success has a medium importance, for which you are required to reach the Champions Cup knockout stages.
For youth development you will need to grow two youth academy players by at least 10 overall points and once they have grown play them in five matches during the season.
Your brand exposure goal is to sell out 90% attendance in half of your league games this season. If you score plenty and win regularly this should be no problem.
Lastly, for your financial objective you must increase the clubs worth by 20% within three seasons. If you maintain a profit year-on-year as well as deliver silverware you should be in the green here.
Defend the undefendable
With PSG splashing the cash last summer, they were always going to be the overwhelming favourites for the title. They even managed to poach Kylian Mbappe from champions Monaco. There is some good news for you however, with Mbappe only on loan to the Parisians, so you will have him back next season.
In the meantime, there is no reason why you can't put the pressure on Paris, with your squad likely to improve over the season. One or two additions could prove the difference as you look to defend the title, which would be an even more improbable success than last season’s triumph. Be sure to rotate your squad against the lesser sides in the division, which should free you up to go deep into the cup competitions. When Mbappe returns, European success could be on the horizon.
Full Monaco squad player ratings
|Djibril Sidibe||24||RB LB||France||78||80||£18m||£25k|
|Andrea Raggi||33||CB RB LB||Italy||76||76||£5.2m||£30k|
|Joao Moutinho||30||CM CDM CAM||Portugal||82||82||£25m||£42k|
|Youri Tielemans||20||CM CAM||Belgium||79||89||£37m||£30k|
|Gabriel Boschilia||21||CAM LM||Brazil||73||80||£9m||£21k|
|Adama Traore||22||CM CAM CDM||Mali||72||78||£7m||£21k|
|Jordi Mboula||18||RM ST||Spain||68||83||£4.1m||£9k|
|Keita Balde Diao||22||LW ST||Senegal||82||90||£60.1m||£40k|
|Stevan Jovetic||27||ST CAM||Montenegro||80||80||£25m||£42k|
|Rachid Ghezzal||25||RW RM||Algeria||75||77||£12m||£28k|
|Adama Diakhaby||20||ST RM||France||73||80||£10m||£24k|
|Quentin N’Gakoutou||23||ST||Central African Rep.||61||66||£300k||£5k|
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