Louis Ducruet, symbol of the rebirth of Barbagiuans
President of the « Barbagiuans » for over a year, Louis Ducruet has now taken over from his uncle, Prince Albert II, at the head of the group. Now active in the field and behind the scenes, interview with an ambitious man determined to give new impetus to this historic team, so dear to the princely family.
1 / For more than 40 years, the primary objective of the « Barbagiuans » has always been to bring together some of the sovereign’s relatives, in a friendly football team. Over the years, she took part in prestigious matches, in Monaco as elsewhere. However, the ambitions remain the same… to meet, travel and have fun together. In light of this, why do you now have the will to formalize a team which, although historic, has always remained in the intimacy of the princely family?
It’s much easier to work under an official entity, regardless of the field. Regarding the “Barbagiuans”, this also reinforces this credibility that it is essential to have when organizing events like the Fight Aids Cup, to which we will give new impetus from the 2022 edition. The formalization of the team, we always have this will to preserve what, for several decades, makes the identity of the “Barbagiuans”. This immense joy felt by each of the members when they came together, the pleasure of playing together, in a squad of friends … it is immediately more enjoyable for everyone and it can be felt in the field. My uncle has always had this unifying side, that’s one of the qualities we know about him. It is also because of this character trait and his kindness of heart that the « Barbagiuans » team has been able to continue to exist, over the years. Today, he also accepted the idea that we need to move up a gear with the creation of an official entity, to better develop ourselves and give us the right to have large-scale projects.
2 / How can we enable “Barbagiuans” to find a prominent place in the already vast Monegasque sports landscape?
There is not much room to take since we are not competing with any other professional sports entity. Our goal remains to be able to bring together a team of football personalities (but not only) and to help associations from here or elsewhere, through our matches which will take place in Monaco or in the foreigner. The project is simple, organize quality meetings, for charitable purposes. We are fortunate to be supported by many big names in Monegasque and world football. Above all, this is what allows the « Barbagiuans » to gain visibility and to occupy, in fact, an important place in the sporting landscape of our country.
3 / There has always been a member of the princely family in the team, with, of course, Prince Albert II. Despite the evolution of the project and now the presence of past glories of world football, this tradition continues today, especially through your role as player, as president. How does being that heir to the « Barbagiuans » workforce feel like to you?
For Prince Albert II as for me, it is very important that a member of our family is always in the organization of this group, so as not to lose the very essence of the « Barbagiuans » and its traditions. I felt immense pride when my uncle first gave me the armband … it was during a friendly match. I lived this moment as a handover, the beginning of a great story for me with the « Barbagiuans ». From now on, I am directly involved, whether on a sporting or extra-sporting level, I actively participate in the organization of the various events with, in sight, the Fight Aids Cup 2022. Even if I have today taken the relay, with of course the people who accompany me, my uncle remains very present to share the moments of conviviality that we have and that we will have again with the members of the workforce, in the locker room or in the field.
He is 100% behind us and will always support those who will work to make this team that he created more than 40 years ago continue.
4 / As president of the « Barbagiuans », why is it important for you to collaborate with certain charities such as Fight Aids Monaco, through your various sporting events (match against the renowned circus team Fight Aids Cup)?
Since I was born, I have been rocked by charity. I have always been very close to the values that associative groups can convey. When I began to understand the impact that our team could have, the idea occurred to me to support associations with the presence of « Barbagiuans » by their side, in particular by allowing them to join us during of some of our sporting events. This is particularly close to my heart and I devote a great deal of my time to it today. This is a way for all of us to participate in several fights, lead different projects (sports and charitable) while being in the same entity, that of the « Barbagiuans ». It is our duty to help people who need it, this is part of the messages we want to convey, especially after the period we have just experienced and which is unfortunately not yet completely behind us.
5 / From any point of view, what are your goals with the “Barbagiuans”, in the long term?
Our goals are simple, to continue organizing prestigious charity matches in order to subsequently expand internationally and help associations around the world. We also want to diversify our practices by participating in sports other than football, but for the moment, the most important thing remains to devote oneself fully to our current activities and to the big deadlines which will arrive for the « Barbagiuans », and there will be some…