Monaco extends manager Leonardo Jardim through 2019


French club Monaco has signed manager Leonardo Jardim to a contract extension through the summer of 2019, the club confirmed Tuesday.

In his first season in charge, Jardim instilled a defensive mentality within the club and it translated to results, including a Champions League quarterfinals appearance and a third-place spot in the Ligue 1 table with two matches remaining.

Monaco has conceded a Ligue 1-low 26 goals this league season, and they gave up just five goals across 10 Champions League matches, including just one in the group stage. Their Champions League adventure came to an apex with a two-leg victory over Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal thanks to a shocking 3-1 win at the Emirates in the first leg.

The 40-year-old Jardim signed an initial two-year deal with Monaco this past summer to replace Claudio Raneiri who left to become the manager of the Greek national team after the 2014 World Cup. Before coming to Monaco, had success in Greece with Olympiacos and in Portugal with Sporting CP. The contract extension is significant for the Venezuelan-born manager, since he has spent more than one season with just one club, his first job at Portuguese lower division club Camacha.

“We have worked hard this season to put in place a new project and I am convinced that the best is to come,” Jardim told the official Monaco website. “There are a lot of quality youngsters in this team, we need to build on what we have shown this season. The club is ambitious and so am I.”

He’s not kidding. Youngsters Fabinho, Anthony Martial, Bernardo Silva, and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco are all 21 years old or younger and have all become regulars in the squad. The average age of players with 17 league appearances or more is 25.8.