After winning French titles for the club in 1961, 1963 and 1978, as well as the French Cup in 1960 and 1963, it is unlikely that coach Lucien Leduc will ever be forgotten at AS Monaco FC.
Coach and player
Having retired from football in 1984, Leduc finally lost his battle against a long-term illness in the French Alps on Saturday morning. Now, French football is left to mourn the loss of one of its favourite sons - not only a great coach but one of the first ever Frenchmen to play abroad.
Leduc was born on 30 December 1918 in Boulogne-sur-mer in the north of France, and initially found fame as a midfield player. He won the French title with CO Roubaix in 1947 and the French Cup with RC Paris in 1949 as well as winning four French caps, scoring one goal against Austria in a 4-1 win on 5 May 1946.
While his career began in the late 1930s, it was not until after the second world war that Leduc hit his stride, becoming the first French player to cross the Alps to play in Italy for AC Venezia. He also played for US Boulogne, FC Clermont-Ferrand, FC Sète, Excelsior Roubaix, AS Saint-Etienne and Annecy.
However, his obsession with football ensured that he stayed in the game after he had hung up his boots. A natural obsessive, he once said: "I think about football all the time. When I'm in a train, I don't watch the landscape. I talk to myself and say here or here, they should build a football ground."
Leduc travelled as much as a coach as he did as a player. He took the reins at Annecy, SCO Angers, Olympique de Marseille - with whom he won the title in 1970/71, Stade de Reims FC, R. Standard de Liège and WAC Casablanca, but it was in two spells at Monaco, from 1958-63 and 1976-79, that he enjoyed his greatest successes.
During his first spell at the club, he won their first five trophies beginning with the 1960 French Cup, and also including the 1961 Super Cup. His next major success came down the coast with Marseille, where he replaced Mario Zatelli as coach at the Stade Vélodrome in December 1970 and by the end of the season had guided them to the title.
When Monaco were relegated to Ligue 2 in 1976, he was invited back to his old club and inspired a stunning revival as they won promotion to Ligue 1 in his first season in command and the French title in the second.
He celebrated that 1978 title with the words: "It's crazy." One year later, in 1979, he announced his retirement for the first time. He was persuaded to return to the game, leading Paris Saint-Germain FC to fourth place in Ligue 1 in 1983/84 before finally quitting the game for good.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.