AS Monaco Names Nigerian Emenalo as Sporting Director

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A former Nigerian international, who resigned from the English champions Chelsea on 6 November, Michael Emenalo,  has been as their new sporting director.

Emenalo  had cited plans to give more attention to his famimy as one reason why he left the English side where had occupied similar post since 2011.

The French Ligue 1 defending champions  confirmed the appointment on Monday afternoon and said that the 52-year-old will take charge of all sporting matters at the club.

They currently sit in third place in the French top-flight standings.

Emenalo will now report to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev in his new role of sporting director at the club.

AS Monaco in a statement published on their website said “AS Monaco are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Emenalo to the role of Sporting Director.

“He will take responsibility for all sporting matters, under the leadership of Vadim Vasilyev, Vice-President & CEO.

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“The former Nigerian international, 52, arrives from Chelsea where he held a similar role, having established himself as a highly respected figure at the London club.

“In ten years with the Blues, during which they won three Premier League titles (2010, 2015, 2017), three FA Cups (2009, 2010, 2012), the League Cup (2015), the Europa League (2013) and most importantly the Champions League (2012), Michael Emenalo held a number of positions before being promoted to Technical Director in 2011.

“Then responsible for the club’s recruitment, he oversaw the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and N’Golo Kanté, among others.

“During his time in London, he also introduced a talent identification and performance system that made the Chelsea Academy one of the most competitive in Europe (winning the Youth League twice in 2015 and 2016).

“With expert knowledge of the French and European markets, Michael Emenalo will now be providing AS Monaco with the benefit of his skills”, they noted.

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The Vice-President & CEO, Vadim Vasilyev, on his part revealed that he has “been following Michael Emenalo’s work for some time and am delighted to have him here at Monaco. I was closely involved in bringing him in.

“His know-how in the scouting network, and the technical experience he has gained at one of the most successful clubs of recent years, are the reasons that led us to offer him this ambitious challenge.

“This appointment is a further sign of our ambition and our desire to be as competitive as possible”, he said.

The new Sporting Director, Michael Emenalo, described the appointment as “a wonderful opportunity for me in a high quality project.”

He added that “AS Monaco has shown great progress for several seasons and I am convinced that the future will be just as ambitious.

“Vadim Vasilyev’s willingness to see me join AS Monaco was decisive for me, it was a natural choice for me after my decision to leave Chelsea”, he said.

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Emenalo was born in Aba, Abia State  on 14 July 1965 and began his footballing  career in  Nigeria, playing for Enugu Rangers and later Nigeria,  before moving to play in the United States for Boston University from 1986 to 1989.

He was in the Nigerian team that faced Argentina in the 1994 World Cup.

After leaving the US, he played for Molenbeek in Belgium, Eintracht Trier in Germany and Notts County F.C in England.

He later returned to the US, where he was part of the original allocated players for Major League Soccer.

He spent two seasons (1996–97) with the San Jose Clash. After that, he played with Lleida in Spain and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

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