Could they do it? Could Louis Ducruet’s Barbaguians continue to prevent Princess Stephanie’s Cirque team from dominating the Fight Aid’s Cup.
Always remembering what a good cause this match is about – the fight against HIV, which still affected just short of 40 million people globally in 2022. Prince Albert, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Camille Gottlieb were on hand showing their support for Princess Stephanie’s activities, who has been working tirelessly for 20 years in the fight against AIDS and raising awareness about HIV.
The Barbaguians won the match last year with a magnificent 3 goals to 2 victory and were ready to romp to victory again.
Princess Charlene and Princess Stephanie Seen United in Support of the Fight Against AIDS
With the kickoff by Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II’s younger sister in a warm-hearted hug and all smiles, the teams went at it, no holds barred.
Well, the first half completely turned the tables on Louis Ducruet’s Barbaguian’s team, compared to last year, even with Charles Leclerc on the field to bolster their chances. No mercy, Princess Stephanie’s Cirque aces scored not once, not twice but three times completely denying the Barbaguians any chance of scoring.
The Cirque soccer stars did not disappoint. First Youri Djorkaeff, a determined stalwart for his team, made their intentions clear (1-0, 21st minute). Not to be outshone, Clarence Seedorf “il professore” made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, and Robert Pirès scored the third goal for Cirque FC from the penalty spot to make it 3-0, in the 36th minute.
And to add to the Barbaguian’s misfortunes Charles Leclerc had had to limp off the field with a calf cramp before half-time. Fortunately not injured.
All over but for the final whistle to stop a massacre? No way! Enough is enough, the pride of the Barbaguians at stake, they fought like tigers in the second half dominating the pitch and put the ball twice in the back of the net without ceding another goal.
Outmaneuvering the opposing goalkeeper, the Barbaguians Ernesto Chevanton had pulled the score back to 3-1 in the 45th minute but had a goal disallowed for offside.
And AS Monaco’s former forward Ernesto put the ball again across the goal-line in the 54th minute (3-2).
Tense and thrilling, a draw was on the cards for these legends of the game …just one more goal needed.
But it was not to be, Princess Stephanie’s Cirque team brought home the bacon and the undeniable record of three victories out of four Fight Aid’s Cup matches.
Cirque FC lifted the trophy singing “campeon” with gusto, much to the obvious delight of Princess Stephanie. Her son Louis Ducruet recovered quickly from being consoled by the Princess, eyeing a rematch. This time out it was too close for comfort and if the Barbaguian’s up their game a notch next time, it will be another story. You could read that in the glints in the eye and playful smiles of the Sovereign. Next time!
In the evening, a charitable gala dinner was organized at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo hotel in support of Fight Aids Monaco in the presence of Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie. Louis Ducruet had jettisoned his boots and football jersey to join his family with his wife, Marie.
HM: What inspired you to lead the Barbagiuans team?
Louis Ducruet: My inspiration comes from my Mom and all the work she has done for Fight AIDS Monaco over the past 20 years. Seeing her strong dedication to the association and the important cause it stands for has been truly motivating. It felt like a natural step for me to lead the Barbagiuans team and contribute my efforts to the tradition started by Prince Albert in 1980. I wanted to bring my own touch, my stone into this project, driven by a sincere commitment to continue the meaningful legacy my Mom has built.