Montpellier coach Rene Girard says his side have already proven money is not everything in football after claiming Ligue 1 glory last season.
Girard’s men won their first-ever title in the French top flight after finishing the season three points ahead of second-placed Paris Saint Germain.
However, with leading striker Olivier Giroud, who scored 21 goals during Montpellier’s championship-winning season, having departed for Premier League outfit Arsenal, Girard’s side have lost a key weapon for their title defence.
And with big-spending rivals PSG securing the services of AC Milan pair Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, along with Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, Montpellier may find the going a little tougher this season.
But Girard says money does not guarantee success.
“At this club, everybody plays for each other and each player believes in themselves and in the other players who make up the team,” the 58-year-old said.
“It proves that money is not everything in football.
“Especially last season where we proved that with good technical and physical players in the right frame of mind, you can achieve glory.”
Montpellier’s Moroccan international Younes Belhanda insists his teammates have nothing to prove this season.
“We don’t feel any pressure,” said the 22-year-old midfielder.
“We won the Ligue 1 title last season, and so have nothing to prove this time around.
“We will try and build up momentum, and get points on the board early. This will make sure that we can challenge for honours and build on our objectives.”
Montpellier face Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday before playing Lyon in their Champions Trophy match at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Saturday, and Girard says the fixture against the seven-time French champions provides ideal preparation ahead of the new campaign.
“For us, it’s a new adventure because we have the upcoming Champions Trophy against Lyon in New York, and this match is a perfect pre-season test for us,” he said.
“In three weeks, the season will be underway and this game against opponents of the quality of Lyon will be a suitable warm-up for us.”