Claudio Ranieri hails Eric Abidal leadership in AS Monaco project

Claudio Ranieri says that Eric Abidal epitomises the spirit he wants at AS Monaco in order to become one of the giants of French football.

Claudio Ranieri has paid tribute to the impact of captain Eric Abidal since joining AS Monaco in the summer.

The Frenchman returned to his former club prior to the start of the season and is one of the oldest players in a squad that possesses a mixture of youth and experience.

Ranieri insists that this blend of players is key to helping Monaco become one of the giants in Ligue 1, and feels that Abidal is the perfect leader for the team.

"I wanted a French captain with a big personality. Abidal is fantastic," Ranieri told BeIN Sport. "He's unbelievable; he trains every time and when I say 'Ok Eric, slow down, go to the dressing room', he says 'No, no, I want to train'. He is a very good example for the rest of the players.

"Monaco is a fantastic place, for this reason. I think that our job was at the beginning, to choose the players that want to win, want to win for them, and for the club and for the project.

"That was very important at the beginning. And I think Abidal wants to win, [Ricardo] Carvalho wants to win, [Andrea] Raggi wants to win, [Jeremy] Toulalan wants to win, [Radamel] Falcao wants to win, [Joao] Moutinho too. That is important. As is transmitting this to the young people."

Monaco are third in Ligue 1 following their promotion from the second tier last term.

Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri during his team's Ligue 1 match against Toulouse on August 23, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG21182167155256
2Marseille22145345222347
3Lyon21136249212845
4MonacoMonaco21134448212743
5NantesNantes2110471920-134
6Nice219482731-431
7GuingampGuingamp218582326-329
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier2161051814428
9Rennes218492630-428
10Caen2283111424-1027
11Dijon2174102942-1325
12StrasbourgStrasbourg216692435-1124
13Bordeaux2165102331-823
14Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2165102036-1623
15Angers2141072531-622
16AmiensAmiens2164111723-622
17Lille2164111932-1322
18Troyes2163122131-1021
19Toulouse2155111930-1120
20Metz2143141735-1815
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