One of the most wanted men in soccer might not be the most comfortable.
Sporting director Luis Campos has discovered over #500m value of footballing talent throughout his period in Monaco and Lille, and in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, provides a fascinating insight into his strategies.
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His CV is something, helping Benjamin Mendy, Nicolas Pepe, James Rodriguez, Anthony Martial, Fabinho, Bernardo Silva and unearth Kylian Mbappe.
The 55-year-old was sporting director since 2017 at Lille, helping them return to the Champions League after finding some of the best abilities while at Monaco of Europe .
He talks throughout the essential players he found, how hes determined to find players live – for a couple minutes – and whether he is enticed out of Lille, having been linked with a number of European clubs across the summer, including Chelsea.
The midfielder of liverpool had a nice season after arriving from Monaco at 2018, and Campos remembers how he came across the Brazilian by injury back.
I remember I go into the Copa Sao Paulo (Junior Football Competition) to see Fluminense who had a leading team, a few very good players. Today he??s winner of Europe. Its amazing.
I moved to Brazil to watch Fluminese because they had some excellent players, they played Paulinia, the first group of Fabinho. Paulinia dropped three or even four more four-nil. In the long run I signed Fabinho, although I went to watch players that were Fluminese. The gift is eternally there, and sometimes you have an early chance.
Campos recalls, although since arriving at Monaco, the Manchester City midfielder was a revelation.
I recall well the first day of Bernardo in Monaco, he is small and people said:Who is the player? He had been playing in the branch in Portugal, the Benfica B group.
But he made an amazing season with us. Now hes a top player in England and one of the greatest players in the world.
The Manchester United ahead, signed by Monaco in 2015, took only eight minutes while that he was a youngster at Lyon to impress Campos.
He had played just eight minutes for Lyon and they had the money, so I advised my CEO I want this boy. He explained:Are you convinced he can be a striker for us? I said:We will need to work with him but I believe he will become the very best striker at France. He was bought by me and offered him 60.
The PSG striker lit up the World Cup in 2018, and describes here the way he helped get Mbappe back until he was marketed for #166m.
The day that I arrived in Monaco – Kylian wasnt happy in the club. I remember meeting with his loved ones and the family saying he isnt staying, he is not playing, we dont know. So I watched him play for 10 minutes and I thought,He is an amazing player, he needs to stay in the club??.
So I set him at the B team and within two weeks he made a difference. So he soon had to maintain the first team. Hes the best player in the world.
The Arsenal winger, signed from Lille in the summer, is anfan of football, something Campos thinks is crucial.
In my view one of the qualities of a top, top player is that they enjoy soccer. I remember working with Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe. They know everything about soccer. Mbappe understood the outcomes of the division.
Nicolas Pepe is similar to that. He??s another example of the importance of a player playing soccer. Following a match he watches the whole game again two times, to make himself perfect.
His newest find, 20-year-old Nigerian forward Osimhen, has played seven in 10 matches for Lille, for example Chelsea last week.
I went to Lagos to Find that the U17 World Championships. After one game he wanted him. However, his price was quite costly. I spoke to my CEO. I called him saying,Please provide me that this participant, he is awesome. In just two years he will be among the finest in Europe.
At the end the player went to Wolfsburg. I moved to Wolfsburg to see him play. Sometimes he just played five minutes, sometimes two. I was mad for him! He had a virus and had five or even six months maybe not playing and went to Charleroi in Belgium. He signed him. So it??s a nice narrative. The participant was lost by me but got back him.
If all is regular at the end of the year there will be a huge move for him because hes just like a cat. You know, in case you have a cat and give it a chunk! He??s incredible. In the last 20 metres every ball is attacked by him. Every ball. Like a cat
Having aided Lille go back to the Champions League, Campos says that the job together with the French club is providing him sufficient pleasure at the moment. However, he wouldnt rule out a move to another club if the situation had beenspecial.
Obviously I wish to use a big club one day. But the Lille job gives me enormous enjoyment.
Two years later were in the Champions League and we made money too and weve really good young players also, so I believe this project – Im happy here – so only a special situation will make me alter a project.
Campos explains how he travelled so much in 1 year, an airline gave him a certificate for spending 20 days in the air, and traveling the equal of earths distance to the moon.
Last year was a specific season. We were at the beginning of the undertaking and the club isnt in a situation. We had to have a fantastic team with five seasoned players along with threeelectrons – youthful, energetic, fast, strong players, and also to find these players that I needed to travel a lot.
The airline gave me a certificate. Twenty days in the air, 10 times across the globe! I visit the skies in 1 year! I go to Africa and see street football and that I see players that are amazing I go to the Premier League.
This difference is very important to me because I gain strength from the energy. So I travel the world since I need the very best players, not expensive. I need to really move there. For me the stats are all significant. The movie is important but viewing live, the emotion this players sense, the difference is made by it.
That??s why I travel a lot. In soccer you need the ball and youve got to have the man to play the ball and you will need to understand the man. You have to get this sensibility. As an instance, to understand the rate of maturation of a small boy or the speed of adaptation from another club or a different country.
Campos used his time to create a new bit of scouting software, Scouting System Pro, and was not afraid to offer an opinion.
He is developing a tool to help teams form a picture of targets through evaluation of their websites.
At this moment Im developing software because it??s quite important. Sometimes we make mistakes, we take who is physical and strong however they arent a person or a man with technique. I believe, as well as the very best university psychology department Im working with also believes, that it??s potential to work with social networking as a photograph of the mindset of a participant.
When we finish this software well surprise everybody. For instance, if in the moment a participant has an issue he sends an competitive tweet quite fast, this can be an emotional player, a player who can??t stay calm.
In case his Instagram he is at celebrations or on a boat or in a disco? So that you take every media post and much more.
Additionally, and this really can be a big surprise for me, the birth sign. It has influence. I create this only for me personally, but it is going to be for everyone, like my own database Scouting System Pro