Ligue 1. Who is the very influential Luis Campos, new sports adviser to PSG?


As expected, Luis Campos joins Paris Saint-Germain. The Portuguese leader has been announced since the end of the championship as the successor to the Brazilian Leonardo as sporting director.

If the former midfielder has indeed been landed, Campos, 57, will occupy a significantly different role, mainly focused on recruitment. Paris Saint-Germain also formalized his arrival this Friday as “football adviser”, and not sports director.

This arrival portends many changes in the Parisian workforce this summer. We explain why by painting the portrait of this man in the shadows.

A “Professor”

Coming from the same generation as José Mourinho – the two men met while following a physical education course in Porto and became friends – Luis Campos understood very quickly that he would not break through as a professional footballer and embraced a career coach in Portugal quite early.

He is thus one of the « Professors », like Mourinho or Nuno Espirito Santo, who have certainly never been pros but who have the particularity of having touched on all aspects of football in their training (training, physical preparation, video analysis …).

After having integrated a first staff at Espinho as a physical trainer, he took the reins of the Leiria club, in 1992, at only 27 years old.

But he has had relative success in this coaching role, with 11 clubs in charge in… 13 years. He stopped coaching in 2005 and became an advisor to various clubs.

He takes off at Real Madrid

His career took a new turn in 2010, when he reunited with José Mourinho.

Having become the “Special One” thanks to his good results at Chelsea, Mourinho caught the eye of Real Madrid and asked Campos to accompany him to Spain in 2010. His mission? Scrutinize the opponents of Real in the Champions League, and put your nose in recruitment.

At Real, Campos weaves his networks, with the support of the very influential agent of Mourinho, Jorge Mendes. To the point of becoming, thereafter, a key figure in world football.

A connoisseur of Ligue 1

After three years at Real Madrid (2010-2013), Luis Campos decided to strike out on his own, heading to AS Monaco, where his profile appealed to the new owner, Russian oligarch Dmitri Rybolovlev and President Vadim Vasilyev.

The relationship – fruitful – lasted three years and he left the Rock in 2016 a year before the team he built himself dominated PSG in the league.

But he remains in Ligue 1: if his name is first mentioned on the side of OM, he finally goes to Lille, participating in the takeover of the club by the businessman Gérard Lopez. And history repeats itself, from 2017 to 2020, he built a quality workforce, capable of playing at the top of the table. And once again, Lille is crowned champion a year later.

Here he is now at the helm at Paris Saint-Germain, where he will be in charge of recruitment, with the aim of aiming for victory in the Champions League. But he will probably have to succeed in less than three years, this time…

An outstanding recruiter

As it described in its press release this Friday, PSG welcomes « a pioneer in the development and improvement of the game, renowned for its modern and innovative approach ». In the French capital, Campos will have to deal particularly with recruitment.

A role he knows and masters like the back of his hand. Over the past ten years, he has become an expert in the art of poaching talented young players to resell them at exorbitant prices: this is trading.

But beware, he is not content to value players, he also takes the opportunity to build successful teams, without necessarily piling up the stars as Paris has been able to do so far.

We saw it in Monaco, where he brought Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and participated in the emergence of Kylian Mbappé. All evolve today in the biggest clubs of the Old Continent, after having been sold for a fortune.

Ditto in Lille: Nicolas Pépé, who has become Arsenal’s most expensive player, Rafael Leao, recent Italian champion with AC Milan, Victor Osimhen, the biggest transfer from the northern club, Renato Sanches, José Fonte… all these venues bear the mark of Luis Campos.

His mission will nevertheless be a little different in Paris, which already has a very large squad of quality players: he will have to find the rare pearls who can complete the group, while improving the overall level of the team.

He will undoubtedly play a role, too, in prospecting for the new coach. If the name of Christophe Galtier, whom he rubbed shoulders with in Lille, has come back with insistence in recent days, it is not for nothing … Even if since then, that of Zinedine Zidane seems to have the favors of Qatar.


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