46th Rainier III Challenge: Monaco’s own Premier Football Tournament

The 46th Rainier III Challenge, Monaco’s inter-company football tournament, culminated with the final match on 20 May at the Louis-II stadium. The Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer team faced M.I. Monaco SAM, who won the event last season against Vinci Construction Monaco.

The tournament brought together 8 teams of 11 players for a friendly sports battle. Before qualifying for the final match, the SBM and the Princess Grace Hospital Centre teams were tied for first place in the group stage of the tournament.

A cheerful atmosphere took over the Louis-II stadium during the final match. Despite many good attempts on both sides, the game remained tied at 0-0 before heading to penalty shootouts.

During the penalty shootouts, the second player from MI Monaco SAM wasn’t able to score, while the four players from Monte-Carlo SBM succeeded in all their shots. So goalkeeper Thibault Pitraye brought his team the victory with a big save (4-3). The crowd cheered and the SBM team lifted the tournament cup with pride.

The challenge began in September with thirty-eight SBM employees making up the future-winning team. The SBM team’s captains were Julien Carles and Eric Fissore and the team’s coach was Thierry Petit.

Several SBM personalities were in the audience, cheering on their players, including Stephane Valeri, Deputy Chairman of SBM, Albert Manzone, the Group’s Managing Director, Vincent Bouvet, the Administrative and Financial Director, Virginie Cotta, the General Secretary, and Sophie Vincent, the Director of Human Resources.

Last year (under the name of Casino de Monte-Carlo) the SBM won the Trophée de la Ville de Monaco against Monaco’s Town Hall (2-0). Now, the SBM has also claimed the Prince Rainier III challenge.

The Prince Rainier III Challenge has been organized annually since 1975 when Prince Rainier III requested that a footballing tournament be played in Monaco. The challenge is now known as the premier footballing tournament for amateur teams within the Principality.

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