“I went up alone at 16 to watch the Champions League final”
To honor the systematic presence of so many Monegasque fans in the external car parks, asmonaco.com continues its section dedicated to red and white fans. For this ninth episode of the 2022-2023 season, we meet Kevin, who lives near Marseille and is a fan of AS Monaco.
Kevin Viale, 35, an AS Monaco fan since the late 1990s. Born in Toulon and now living in Sanary-sur-Mer a few kilometers from Marseille, he has been a season ticket holder at the Stade Louis-II for over 20 years and does not hesitate to travel about 350 kilometers to encourage the red and white. Meeting with this fan who fully lives his passion with his father. Interview.
One of the first games I watched was against Newcastle in 1997 when we won 3-0. Then I went with my father to the Stade Louis-II to watch my first match on October 17, 1998 against Montpellier (2-0 win after a double from Robert Spehar ed).
AS Monaco fan
Hi Kevin. How long have you been supporting AS Monaco?
This has been the case since the 1996-1997 season. One of the first games I watched was against Newcastle in 1997 when we won 3-0. Then I went with my father to the Stade Louis-II to watch my first match on October 17, 1998 against Montpellier (2-0 win after a double from Robert Spehar ed). The following year we subscribed to the first one and since then we have been going to see all AS Monaco matches at the stadium.
You could say it’s a family affair.
Yes, we will tell. In fact, my parents divorced in the late 90’s and that brought me a lot closer to my father. He loved football a lot and he could leave Toulon to go to Monaco. Then he went to a restaurant with friends and went to many matches in the same day. He could leave at 8 in the morning and return at midnight. This passion has been handed down from father to son. So we made a season ticket together and since the 99-2000 season when we were champions of France, we’ve been going to every game. It’s about 350 kilometers round trip. It’s pretty bad.
Then you must have seen hundreds of matches at the Stade Louis-II.
Yes, there is only one season where I had to miss four or five, it was during the 2007-2008 season because I didn’t have anyone at work to replace me. But otherwise we’ve really gone to every game since then, even when we went down to Ligue 2. I’ve kept all my tickets so I remember the games I’ve seen.
We beat Real Madrid at home and nobody could really predict that given the team they had. On the other hand, against Manchester City, I told my father when the Etihad came back that we would win 3-1. The team was like this above all else, City were not good in defence. I bet on victory and qualification. I wanted to put the exact score too but my father told me that was enough.
AS Monaco fan
Among these meetings, what is your best memory at the Stadium?
I would say Monaco against Real in 2003-2004 without hesitation. We beat Real Madrid at home and nobody could really predict that given the team they had. On the other hand, against Manchester City, I told my father when the Etihad came back that we would win 3-1. The team was like this above all else, City were not good in defence. I bet on victory and qualification. I wanted to put the exact score too but my father told me that was enough.
You went to see the match go to Manchester. He must have been crazy. I assume you have made other trips?
Yep, the vibe was crazy going. We managed to make the whole procession with all the supporters. And even if we lost, the fight was great. In the process, we went to Juventus Stadium and it was necessarily a little less fun. I also went to Dortmund. When I got to the grandstand, I saw that the wall in front of us wasn’t yellow so I went out to attack.
The next day, unfortunately, I couldn’t stay because the three of us left and one had to go to work. I also went to Arsenal. In fact, as soon as we can with friends, we leave and stop for two days where we visit the city and then watch the game. I also saw the meeting with Benfica where we lost 1-0 in 2014. We can say that I’ve done a lot.
And your win-loss ratio, how is it then?
At home I see a lot of victories but it’s true that away from home it’s more complicated. In Marseille I had to see some of them and in Saint-Etienne I saw Ernesto Chevanton’s first goal with our colors in the 1-0 draw of 2004-2005. I often went to Geoffroy-Guichard because Bafétimbi Gomis, from Toulon, gave us seats. In Nice I think I saw three victories. The matches in which I have the least chances are in the Champions League. I also went to Gelsenkirchen for the Champions League final against Porto.
Living this experience at 16 must have been crazy…
It’s clear. I had gone up by myself when I wasn’t 17 yet because my father couldn’t come. My mother took me to Munich to get tickets at the ticket office. Only since I was a minor, I couldn’t leave by myself.
Finally, an elderly person next to me told them that he was taking me under his responsibility. He signed the waiver, I took my seat and didn’t see him on the next trip. Despite the defeat, I had the opportunity to play in a Champions League final in a magnificent stadium. I think that without Ludovic Giuly’s injury the game would have been different but we’ll never know. I’m sure we will do more.
I try to get a jersey every year since we signed up. My first was that of Marco Simone. It was a dark blue/red European Cup shirt which I thought was very nice. And from there it’s one to three per season plus what I’ve been able to get with players. I think I’m not far off in my sixties. I wish I could frame them but it’s starting to get complicated (laughs).
AS Monaco fan
I saw on Twitter that you own a lot of jerseys too.
Yes, I try to get a jersey every year as we are season ticket holders. My first was that of Marco Simone. It was a dark blue/red European Cup shirt which I thought was very nice. And from there it’s one to three per season plus what I’ve been able to get with players. I think I’m not far off in my sixties. I wish I could frame them but it’s starting to get complicated (laughs).
@AS_Monaco when you are still in isolation you are tidying up pic.twitter.com/NVv7Ife3Qd
— VK ?⚪️ (@kev883) May 11, 2020
At the old Monaco shop, for example, I was able to recover Flavio Roma’s gray Champions League shirt that he hadn’t used. It’s embroidered, it’s a great shirt. I framed Bernardo Silva’s shirt or Caio Henrique’s with the rainbow number. I also have Benoît Badiashile’s sister who sent her brother’s shirt to my father. She was very sweet.
As a fan of the Club, I take it you’ve been to La Turbie before?
Yes of course and I will remember this anecdote one day after training for the rest of my life. In fact, I am a person who has diabetes and I need to eat at regular times. One of the players I particularly loved was Jérôme Rothen. I absolutely wanted to see him to get an autograph and maybe his shirt just in case at the end.
I watched the clock go by and my dad told me “my diabetes”. I told him “it doesn’t matter, I want to wait”. Finally he arrived and he told me that he had already promised his shirt to someone. I went out at 2:30pm and my blood sugar had skyrocketed. I had been killed by my father for having waited for nothing else (laughs).
We used to go there often even when the youngsters were playing in the Youth League because when we go to a Monaco game, we go there for a day. So we ate at the Café de la Fontaine in La Turbie and then went to watch the games in the evening at the Stade Louis-II. It’s a pity that this year the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League because I was coached by the father of Sandro Bertolucci, also a native of Sanary. It would have been an opportunity to see him.
Who is your favorite player in the history of the Club?
There are three players who have particularly marked me. I think first of Marco Simone with his blond locks. I had the exact same haircut. I loved him, he was really classy Italian. He was one hell of a player. There is also Marcelo Gallardo in this same era. Once we went up to see a workout in La Turbie. He was doing 50m cross sections with Jean Petit. I saw him do some checks that I wondered how it was possible. The ball remained in his feet, he was glue. A true wizard who could do everything with a ball.
Fernando Morientes also during the year we were in the Champions League final. And for a lefty, we will say Bernardo Silva. He walked off and made his farewell message which I believe was sincere. That’s what I like about this player. This year I really like Caio Henrique who has a velvet left foot. He supplies caviar upon caviar.
A forecast for this weekend?
So you must know that I’m superstitious (laughs). I would say a victory for Monaco with a spirit of revenge compared to the scenario of the first leg. I think they will be too motivated and I hope so because otherwise I won’t be able to leave the house for a week.
Living close to Marseille, to my knowledge there are necessarily only Marseille fans. There I play as a veteran and that’s all except one person who is for Bordeaux. So I sign right away for a 1-0 victory at the last second. On the other hand, it won’t be necessary to be hearty (laughs).
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