Tuesday night is usually pretty quiet in Monaco as few people are in town yet, but the charity football match promoted by Prince Albert has become something of a tradition. This blog decided to check it out for the first time, from the privileged postion of the side of the pitch. And an entertaining evening it was too as the F1 drivers – displaying just the sort of commitment you’d expect – overcame the ‘Star Team’ opposition.
The drivers put out quite an impressive line-up, although it wasn’t always easy to discern who was playing where. Felipe Massa and Jaime Alguersuari appeared to be leading the attack, with Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi apparently in midfield and naturally also very keen to get up the front.
Jarno Trulli was the only driver to be happy to play at the back, while Tonio Liuzzi showed up in his kit but was injured and didn’t take the field. Former F1 drivers Ivan Capelli (who doubled as manager) and Emanuele Pirro also put in an appearance, while the team – with regular substitutions – was made up with a bunch of ringers. Charity football regular Michael Schumacher did not show up, alas.
Alonso scored the only goal of the first half when he teed up a volley from a long way out and fired into the net with a flair that suggested Spain should send him to South Africa this summer. In the second half DTM driver Maro Engel scored a neat solo effort, before the hard trying Massa was gifted a tap-in for the third.
Alonso, who like Vettel impressed by playing nearly the full 90 minutes, then added a fourth. The Star Team included bike racer Loris Capirossi, former F1 drivers Riccardo Patrese and Alex Caffi, and a mixed bunch of names from various sports. They scored two in reply, leaving it 4-2 in favour of the drivers. Prince Albert, who showed up late, presented the prizes.