Lots of football clubs have single figures who are inextricably linked with their history. The Steven Gerrards. The Matt Le Tissiers. The Ryan Giggses.
And then you have Monchi. 29 years of service from goalkeeper to sporting director at Sevilla, pulling them up from the second division to eleven trophies. Along the way Monchi helped build the club into one of the most respected clubs in Europe, capable of keeping pace with the giants of La Liga thanks to a vast scouting network and an academy system that has produced such modern stars as Sergio Ramos, Jesús Navas, and Alberto Moreno. It’s fair to say that without Monchi, Sevilla would be a very different club.
And now Roma are banking on lightning striking twice.
After asking to be let out of his contract last summer and being refused, Monchi finally left his post as Sevilla sporting director last month. Today, he arrived in Rome to be unveiled as the new sporting director of AS Roma.
Monchi’s four-year contract (with an option for a fifth) takes effect immediately and, with the Serie A season winding down, the Spaniard is eager to get to work.
“This is an exciting project and I look forward to getting to please fans, staff and players of this historic team for so many years,” Monchi said in the club’s official press release. (Translation via Google Translate.)
Club president James Pallotta could barely contain his excitement.
“On behalf of myself and AS Roma, I welcome Monchi to our family and I look forward to a long partnership of success in an exciting new era for the club. I could not be happier for the arrival of an executive, commonly recognized as one of the best minds in the world of football.”
It’s not often that you see such a full-court press for the arrival of a new front office executive. Especially for sporting director, a role in which the fruits of one’s labors can take years to materialize. But if you’re going to make a bet on a high-profile name for this kind of role, Monchi is a pretty smart move. This could all end up being a lot of hot air, but this could also be the start of an intriguing new project at Roma. Stay tuned.