The most influential sports directors in world football today

Michael Zorc

Borussia Dortmund have been getting a lot of success and have been achieving a lot in the past few years and that is mainly because of their sporting director Michael Zorc. Zorc is a product of the club starting his career as a player there winning two Bundesliga titles and one Champions League title during his tenure. He retired at the age of 36 but was appointed the sporting director of his childhood club. His contract runs till 2021 and he is showing no signs of stepping down. As the sporting director of Borussia Dortmund he has seen his club through three Bundesliga titles, two DFB Kup titles and two Supercup titles. Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchell have been on the bench during his tenure which goes to prove a lot about his abilities. But Zorc’s talents is not only his management capabilities but also a very sharp business mind.

His strategy is to develop young players and go into the big stages before starting again from scratch. This has seen a lot of big money transfers occurring at the club the most recent of which is Christian Pulišić’s transfer to Chelsea for £58 million. The latest player to have attained the limelight in Dortmund colours is Jadon Sancho. Other examples of his transfer deals include Ilkay Gundogan, Mario Gotze, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Piere Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele and many others. Arsenal wanted to secure his services in 2017 because of his business sense but he decided to remain at his childhood club.

 

TxikiBegiristain

TxikiBegiristain was a FC Barcelona player from 1988-1995. He left football in 1999 and joined Brcelona as their sporting director in 2003. FC Barcelona was in a rut as they had gone trophy less for the past four years. TxikiBegiristain took control of the situation with club president Joan Laporta. He discovered Pep Guardiola and appointed him FCB’s manager in 2008. He left FCB in 2010 leaving the club with 5 league titles and 2 Champions League titles in 7 years. He joined Manchester City in 212 and brought Pep Guardiola to the club and has since posted 3 trophies in 2 seasons.

 

Giuseppe Marotta

Juventus was down in the dumps after coming up from Seria B to Seria A after they got relegated to following their scandal called Calciopoli. They were a top tier team struggling for the title raceand without champions league football there was little chance of them improving. In 2010 Giuseppe Marotta joined the club as their sporting director to salvage the situation and salvage he did. He brought in 14 new players into the club and started rebuilding Juventus’s squad. In May 2011 Giuseppe Marotta appointed Antonio Conte as Juventus’s head coach and Conte’s coaching skills combined with Giuseppe Marotta’s business prowess saw the club reaching great heights.

His ability to bring in top tier players for free was a game changer for the club with him bringing in talents like Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio for extremely cheap prices. He brought in Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer transfer window but in December 2018 he left the club to join Inter Milan.

 

Monchi

Roman Rodriguez Verdejo also known as “Monchi” was a football player himself serving as a goalie for Sevilla his entire footballing career. In 2000 Sevilla was relegated to the Spanish 2nd division after which he was appointed the clubs sporting director. Under him the club flourished with him improving the youth academy of the club and developing a strong talent scouting network in and out of Spain. His tactics worked and during his tenure the club produced players like Sergio Ramos, Alberto Moreno, Diego Capel, Jesus Navas and many others.

He had a knack of finding unknown players for free and developing them and finally selling them off for an enormous profit. Some examples include Ivan Rakitić, Dani Alves, Adriano, Aleix Vidal and many others. In 2017 he left Sevilla and joined AS Roma. He is doing a brilliant work at his new club and with his network of 700 scouts he has made enormous contributions to the sides squad strength.

 

Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick was the previous coach for clubs like Stuttgart, Hannover, Schalke 04 and Hoffenheim and he is also the man behind RB Leipzig’s recent success. In 2012 he became the sirector for both RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg but he left his job at Salzburg to fully concentrate on his Leipzig job. RB Leipzig is a fledgling club at only 9 years of age but has since risen from the depths of the German last tier to seal their position among the very best of the country. Rb Leipzig also play regularly in European competitions. Ralf Rangnick is in reality a brilliant talent spotter and his strategy is to buy cheap and young players under the age of 24 and develop them so that they can earn for the club. Naby Keita is a good example whose sale made the club £53million richer.  Ralf Rangnick has signed on Julian Nagelsmann as the coach for the club from the next summer and the duo is supposed to be really good owing to Julian Nagelsmann’s tendency to work with younger players.

 

Michael Edwards

Michael Edwards have made Liverpool great again with him making the team competitive in the market again. He was appointed the clubs sporting director in November 2016. He has made some incredible signings taking on talents like Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Naby Keita. He has also brought in a lot of money for the club by selling off some of his great players for heft sums of money the most notable of which is Phillippe Coutinho’s  departure to FC Barcelona for an initial transfer fee of £105 million. He also sold Dominic Solanke to Bournemouth for a record fee of £19m. And his ability to bring in star players like XerdanShaqiri for lesser money than his reserve bench players is commendable.

 

Andrea Berta

Andrea Berta was a banker by profession previously but he is currently serving as Atletico Madrid’s sporting director. He occupied the same position in other clubs like Genoa and Parma. In May 2013 he joined Madrid as a scout and then for four years became the technical director for the club. Chloe Simeone is the coach for the club and with him Berta is the man responsible for saving atletico from relegation and making them a top tier team. He has signed some world-class players like Jan Oblak and Antoine Griezmann and he got to Thomas Lemur before Arsenal and Liverpool from Monaco. Manchester United had their eyes on Berta this season with him being the clubs first sporting director. But he declined the offer and decided to stay with Atletico Madrid.

 

Luis Campos

Luis Campos is a great scout and he wanted to buy cheap players.He was in Monaco in 2014-2016 and was responsible for the transfers of like Fabinho, Tiamoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and many others. KylianMbappe got his first break under his mandate. He is credited with Monaco’s success in 2016/2017 in which they won Ligue 1 and reached the semi finals stage in UEFA Champions League. From 2017 Monaco sold off their players for a tremendous source of money. Luis Campos was not in the club by then but he was the man behind collecting the players. Luis Campos is now at LOSC Lille where he is implementing his Monaco seals. His best work as of now is Nicolas Pepe who Unai Emery wants at Arsenal.