The Girondins de Bordeaux recruitment unit deciphered

The late takeover of the club and the economic constraints set by the DNCG forced it to adapt. To achieve a good transfer window, the technical director of the Girondins Admar Lopes believes that it must be prepared « a year in advance ». In Bordeaux, he only had a month and a half (and limited means), which did not prevent him from being hyperactive on the market. Nine recruits landed this summer, one could further strengthen the workforce this winter at a time of year when the Portuguese believes that it is better to give « stability ». He has been accompanied since mid-July by seven scouts who were already collaborating with him in Lille with several projects in mind: a detection week in Morocco, for example, should be organized in March-April – with the presence of the U19 team on place – to assess the « best young people of all African countries », and strengthen the Académie des Girondins. For forty minutes, he detailed his work methodology to us.

The cell, a collaborative effort

The Girondins have reproduced the Lille model with a recruitment unit made up of seven scouts from the “Scoutly limited” structure which operated at LOSC when Gérard Lopez was the owner. Spaniard Diego Lopez is the coordinator after a one-year experience as sporting director of Royal Excel Mouscron. “He coordinates the trips, the schedules, the various tasks for each recruiter, details Admar Lopes. He does not have quite the same role that I had in Lille because he is not a decision maker ”. In Bordeaux, the last word always goes to the technical director but the work is done well in consultation. “Normally, before moving forward on a negotiation, we always try to have unanimity of opinions,” underlines Lopes. Who is the priority? Who is the best player in relation to our means? It is not always easy but in 60-70% of cases, it happens like that. ”. A meeting with all the scouts is scheduled for the beginning of November to define the sites of the next mercatos.

The operating mode, each recruit observed twenty times on average

To find the talents of tomorrow, the Girondins have defined seven geographical areas. Africa and France – from U17 to L2 – are covered full time. For the others, shifts take place every two months. They break down as follows: a South America area (as well as Mexico and all the USA), an area to observe the so-called «  Nordic  » countries (Norway, Denmark, etc.), another for Portugal, the Spain, Switzerland or Italy, another for Germany, Romania, Slovakia or Greece. And one last for the Netherlands, Serbia, Belgium and Bosnia. « The goal is to get to know all the best players from 17 to 23 in these countries. » The L1 is obviously also part of the observed championships. Regarding Asia, tournaments in categories ranging from U17 to U20 are scrutinized in Japan and South Korea. “At each shift, there is a review meeting”, underlines Lopes. On average, each potential recruit is observed twenty times, five times at the stadium and fifteen times in videos. « We make sure that each recruiter has seen it at least once. »

The criteria, an in-depth psychological profile

During their observations, the Scouts evaluate “twenty to thirty characteristics” of the targeted player. The final objective is to establish for each position a list of nine names in order of priority and market value. “A list of three names for each range: from 0 to 3M €, from 4 to 7M € and more than 8M €, explains Lopes. But if we already know that we will not have more than 3M € to put for a given position, we can also establish a list of nine names which correspond to this value ”. In addition to footballing qualities, special attention is paid to the psychological profile of potential recruits through a questionnaire « We always have a meeting with the player and his family before signing, » Lopes continues. We also talk to one of his teammates and a trainer who has worked with him. If we want to go get the new Hwang, it can be complicated. But for the others, it’s easy because we have the network ”. Everything is done to minimize the risk of making mistakes.

Diego Lopez (32 years old)

Former journalist. He made his debut in scouting in 2014. Sporting director of Mouscron from June 2020 to June 2021.

Ali El Omari (43 years old)

Former Moroccan international midfielder (5 caps). Passed in particular by Créteil (2006-2008). He was also an assistant coach at Chartres.

Andrea Michelis (31 years old)

He has worked in the recruitment unit of several clubs: Livorno (2012-2013), Olhanense in Portugal (2013-2014), Monaco (2014-2017) and at PSG (2017-201).

Christian Larièpe (62 years)

Former sports director of Saint-Etienne (2001-2003) and FC Nantes (2007-2009). He also worked with the reserve team in Marseille (2003-2007) and led the Academy of Dinamo Moscow (2010-2012).

Gerardo Fuentes (37 years old)

A first scouting experience at Bayer Leverkusen (2012-2015), before taking over the direction of scouting in Mallorca (2015-2016). He was also responsible for scouting at Figo Football Academy (2016-2017).

Vicente Fernandez (46 years old)

He worked for the Chelsea recruiting team for seven years before following Michael Emenalo to Monaco in 2017, when the former technical director of the Blues was appointed sporting director of the Principality club.

Walquir Mota (54 years)

Former sports director of FC Rouen (2005-2010). He scoured the French clubs when he was a player: Mulhouse, Stade ruthénois, Tours, Lille, ASOA Valence, Niort, Paris FC …

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