Formula 1’s festivities in Monaco are set to begin next week as the rich and famous flock to the principality for the sport’s glamor event.
However, there is one final sporting occasion on the agenda for those in the principality before the race weekend, as soccer club AS Monaco plays its last game of the season against Bordeaux tonight.
Fitting in with the F1 weekend, Force India driver Sergio Perez will have the honor of kicking off the game at the Louis II stadium, as confirmed by the Ligue 1 club on its official website.
Rather aptly, both Perez and Monaco are enjoying something of a revival. Perez was seen as a young star following two excellent seasons with Sauber in 2011 and 2012, but a move to McLaren in 2013 proved to be a step in the wrong direction. He failed to score a podium finish all year, and was dropped in favor of Kevin Magnussen for 2014.
Perez subsequently secured a seat at Force India for this season, and has since rediscovered some form. He finished in third place at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which was only the second podium finish in the team’s history.
Monaco has enjoyed some success over the past decade, and reached the Champions League final back in 2004. However, the club was relegated from Ligue 1 at the end of the 2010/2011 season, suggesting that its heyday might have been over. Thanks to fresh Russian investment, though, it bounced back and got promoted last season.
With a sizeable transfer budget, the club has attracted some of the top players in Europe such as Falcao and Joao Moutinho. In its first season back in Ligue 1, Monaco has already secured second place in the league behind PSG, and will contest next year’s Champions League.
Tonight’s game will have no bearing on the team’s final position, so it is likely to be an enjoyable night that will kick start the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, arguably the most important in the principality’s calendar.
— AS MONACO FC (@AS_Monaco) May 17, 2014