Sunday, July 28, 2013

Carvalho plays down Monaco title hopes

The Portuguese defender believes the newly-promoted principality club will likely finish outside the top two in Ligue 1 in 2013-14 despite its lavish summer spending
AS Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho has played down his side's chances of mounting a challenge for the Ligue 1 title next season.

Claudio Ranieri's side have stunned the continent with their summer spending to date, splashing out upwards of 120 million euros on the likes of Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez.

Ranieri himself acknowledged that the Principality club would struggle to usurp Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the standings in France this

season, and Carvalho - who also moved to Stade Louis II this summer - believes a top-four finish is their realistic target.

"We want to be ambitious, but we will most likely finish third or fourth," he told Le Parisien. "Paris already have a very competitive team in place. Monaco have just begun. There will also be other good teams, but we need to grow as a collective. We will have to try to win our games.

"PSG remain the favorites. I hope to see us finish behind them."

Carvalho went on to express his excitement at being part of the Monaco "adventure" and believes his experience - along with that of former Barcelona defender Eric Abidal - will be important to the side in the coming campaign.

"This is a new adventure," he continued. "There are several Portuguese in the group and numerous other Spanish speakers. It makes adapting easier. Everything is fine for me.

"Abidal a great player. He holds a lot of experience, like me. He will have his work to do and I have mine."

Monaco commences its Ligue 1 companion with a match against Bordeaux on August 10.