• Monaco were the surprise package of 2016/17 in Europe
  • Leonardo Jardim nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Coach Award
  • Monaco captain Radamel Falcao reveals the secrets behind his success
Monaco defied all expectations in 2016/17 and became the revelation of the season thanks to their fast-paced and clinical attacking football. They reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they lost out to eventual runners-up Juventus, but did succeed in breaking the all-powerful Paris Saint-Germain's grip on the Ligue 1 trophy to win their eighth title after a 17-year drought.

Players such as Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Fabinho and Thomas Lemar, among others, became household names while distinguished veterans including Joao Moutinho and 'El Tigre' Radamel Falcao also shone.

The mastermind behind the success was Leonardo Jardim. His achievements led to his inclusion on the 12-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Coach Award 2017.

"He more than deserves to be nominated," Falcao told FIFA.com. And who better to analyse Jardim's methods than the Monaco captain?

Attention to detail
"Jardim is a coach with a real depth of knowledge about the game and he's not only a qualified coach but also as a fitness instructor. He likes to know every single detail. By leaving nothing to chance he takes care of the team and reduces the margin for error."

Developing youngsters
"He knows how to handle very young players with a lot of talent. He knows how to teach them, give them the necessary confidence and tools so that every one of them gives 100 per cent for the good of the team. As a result we work well as a unit."

Fact file

  • Born in Venezuela 43 years ago but raised in Portugal.
  • He never played football professionally but studied physical education at the University of Madeira.
  • At the age of 24 he became the youngest Portuguese coach ever to obtain the UEFA 'A' coaching licence.
  • Made his coaching debut at the small Portuguese club Camacha in 2003 and had spells at SC Braga, Olympiacos and Sporting CP, among others, before arriving at Monaco in June 2014.
  • Now in his fourth season at Monaco, where he recently extended his contract until 2020.

Just reward
"It would bring great joy to all of us if Jardim were to win the prize. He's competing with coaches who won major titles last season and who likewise did a great job. But regardless of whether he wins or not, just being nominated is a reward for his work. We have to appreciate what he's done."

Starting over
"We've got a young team here in Monaco and a lot of players have been bought by big teams. That means he's doing a really good job. Jardim still has the same attitude and communicates his objectives. It always takes a while for new players to adapt but most of them have already done really well. We've had positive results, which help that process and make everything a bit easier. This season we hope we can keep showing the good work he and his coaching staff have been doing."