Our Head Coach spent three seasons as a player in France between 2001-2003 - two-and-a-half seasons at Paris St Germain and a brief spell at Bordeaux before returning to Espanyol.
So stepping out at Monaco’s Stade Louis II brought back a few memories - and a simple message.
Below: Mauricio's press conference at Monaco
“I played here a few times and it’s a bit different now, but always tough,” said Mauricio, who spent most of his playing career in Europe at Espanyol in Spain (1994-2001 then 2003-06).
“Maybe it’s something different for the players as well because they play in front of 30, 40, 50 thousand people every week in England and here it’s 10, 15 thousand, no more. That’s different. It’s a difficult place to play, never easy.
“Monaco lost some players in the transfer window but this is still a very good team,” added Mauricio on a Monaco side that narrowly lost in the Champions League play-off to Valencia, drew at Anderlecht in Europa League MD1 and sit ninth of 20 in Ligue 1.
“They have young, talented players and a good mix of youth and experience.
“Our objective is to take three points. It’s important because Anderlecht and Qarabag are also very good teams in our group. It’s an exciting game in Monaco and our players are motivated for this game. We need to try to win.”