Marsilia – The five best marches of Javier Ribalta, future sporting director of OM

5. Dani Alves, efficiency, free

In Turin, the arrival of Javier Ribalta coincides with the return to the forefront of Juventus in Italy. First recruited by the Old Lady to drip young players, the Spaniard ends up specializing in the search for experienced players whose contractual situation presents an opportunity. Which, in the long run, should allow the Piedmontese club to regain the European gratin.

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Thanks to a job done in good intelligence with his two superiors, Fabio Paratici (computer technology) and Beppe Marotta (sports director), Ribalta and Juve managed several master strokes (Khedira, Tévez, Evra …). And Daniel Alves. At the end of the 2015/2016 season, after discussing with several members of the network in Catalonia, where he comes from, Ribalta learns that a secret clause is included in the contract of the Brazilian winger, then linked to Barça until in the 2017 season.

It stipulates that if activated before June 5, Daniel Alves may leave the Blaugrana club freely. In a few days, Turin’s management is active, negotiating a contractual agreement with the Brazilian and completing his transfer. A few days earlier, the winger was celebrating the titles on the lawn of the Camp Nou, without saying goodbye. Until the last moment, none of his teammates had considered leaving.

4. Leandro Paredes, the sale at the bottom

Javier Ribalta has a skill that could be useful at Olympique de Marseille. He knows how to sell. Quick. Well. When he landed at Zenit in the summer of 2018, the St. Petersburg club had not been able to win the title since 2015. To stop the domination of the Moscow stables (CSKA, Lokomotiv, Dynamo), l „Espagnol must raise funds to rebuild an entire workforce.

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That’s right, Paris Saint-Germain are looking for a midfielder and are interested in Leandro Paredes, the undisputed starter at Zenit. A year earlier, the Russian club made a significant financial effort to offer the Argentine international – 23 million euros. And accepted the idea that at that price, a capital gain on resale would be a miracle: historically, major European clubs are taking a big financial risk for players playing in the Russian league.

So when Antero Henrique, sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain at the time, came to the intelligence, Ribalta responded with a sigh of relief. “I told him that for less than $ 40 million, Leandro wouldn’t go anywherehe will reveal to local media […] We knew they had money. Noi had seen how they had behaved in the market in previous years. And that gave us some good looks“.

The result of the courses: Paris has disbursed 47 million euros to offer to Argentina. The investment is twofold. With this money, Zenit will offer three players (Azmoun, Barrios, Rakitskiy). Chelsea, where Maurizio Sarri complained at the venue in Argentina, did not propose 20 million euros.

3. Kingsley Coman, the discovery of the good vein

2014, Paris has eyes only for the stars that Qatari owners can offer it. Ribalta, on the other hand, has an eye on Kingsley Coman. For several months, the Spaniard dissected the videos of the young winger, took notes and multiplied his trips to Paris to observe him more closely. Titi becomes the youngest player in the club’s history to play in Ligue 1. But his internship contract is coming to an end and PSG, already heavily armed on the offensive front, cannot offer sporting guarantees.

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Very early on, Ribalta felt that Coman’s situation within his training club was a cul-de-sac. And don’t wait until the end of the season to submit his name to Fabio Paratici. “He worked there for six months, day and nightentrust the Spaniard to the Guardian. We first went to see the player together several times because Fabio wanted to make sure it was worth investing in when he came. Then, as soon as he was convinced to sign Kingsley, he made many – believe me, many – trips to convince Coman, his family and agents to choose Juventus rather than many other offers and a possible extension. . with PSG. “
Without the eye of her recruiter, the Old Lady would never have slipped a vein that will benefit many other European clubs in the coming seasons. Coman will never become a major player for the Turin club. But it will bring him 21 million, three years later, during his final transfer to Bayern.

2. Pogba, the record find

Two years earlier, Ribalta had already detected a similar but much more successful opportunity for Juventus, both sportingly and economically. Upon his arrival in Turin, Ribalta blew the name of Paul Pogba. Like many, the Spaniard saw the exceptional athletic and technical qualities of the Frenchman. He is also aware of the well-tempered character of “La Pioche” and the tensions with Sir Alex Ferguson over his short-term future and playing time. The opportunity is too good.

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Alerted by its recruiter, the Turin management is trying to strike. And won’t regret it. In Piedmont, Pogba explodes and becomes one of the best midfielders in Serie A. Four years later, he returns to Manchester United to become the most expensive player in history (105 million euros). Ribalta changes status. And enjoys blind trust.

1. Bruno Fernandes, the farewell gift at 40,000 euros

In Novara, Ribalta finally gets the job he has always dreamed of. After moving to Milan, in 2011 he became head of the recruitment unit for the small Piedmont club. Leading them and discovering a very unstable environment and decides to go, see elsewhere after a season only. Before I leave, I give him one last idea. During his many hours of viewing in his office, Ribalta flashed at a young player playing with the Boavista U19s. Bruno Fernandes.

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In Portugal, not many people believe in this midfield that has not even passed under the radars of the “very big” (Porto, Benfica, Sporting). Convinced by his recruiter, Novara tries to bet. And disbursement … 40,000 euros. La première saison du Portugais in Serie B is a success. Later, Udinese rushed to the player with a check for 2.5 million euros. Novara multiplied its investment by 62.5.

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