The Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club is a Monegasque football club, founded in 1919. They became a professional club after 1948. Although the club is in Monaco, it has always competed in the French football structure. For this reason, it has always been regarded with a certain suspicion by a segment of the French population. It is one of the most successful clubs in French football, with seven league titles and five French Cup titles. It has also had some successful campaigns in Europe, including a run to the final of the UEFA Champions League, in 2004, but it has not won a European competition.
AS Monaco is sometimes derided for its relatively low number of spectators (10,394 average for the 2003/2004 season). However, taking into account the city's population of 30,000 and that it competes with Nice's team (350,000 inhabitants) OGC Nice 20 km nearby (with an average attendance of 11,500 in the same season), Monaco as a city has one of the highest spectator/inhabitant ratios in France.
AS Monaco's home ground is Stade Louis II, an all-seater with a capacity of 18,500 in the Fontvieille section of Monaco. The stadium, as well as the Fontvieille district, was built entirely on land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea. This small but glamorous looking stadium is often used to host the European Supercup at the start of the season, featuring the winner of the Champions League and the winner of the UEFA Cup.
Monaco were shock finalists in the UEFA Champions League in 2004, impressively beating the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea along the way there, but they were defeated by FC Porto in the final, losing the match 3-0. This remains Monaco's greatest achievement so far in Europe, but in 2005 Monaco were beaten in the 3rd qualifying round stage by Real Betis. They have since continued recent good form and secured a place in the 1/16th of the UEFA Cup vs. Basel after having won the Group Stage tournament (group including Hamburg, CSKA Sofia, Slavia Prague and Viking Stavanger), after a victorious home/away fixture over Dutch side Willem II.