Recruitment, management, taste for performance… immersed in the Luis Campos method (1/2)


After two successful experiences in France, the Portuguese arrives at PSG with his methods in various fields related to the sports sector. Goal interviewed those who know him to decipher his mode of operation.

Luis Campos did not wait to be formalized to get to work. Officially appointed PSG sports adviser since last Friday, the Portuguese (57) has already been active behind the scenes for several weeks to carry out his first Parisian work.

In addition to the very media-friendly site of the arrival (on a very good track) of Christophe Galtier as coach, the former manager of Lille and Monaco is obviously active on the transfer window and on aspects that are not very tangible from the general public, linked to performance. With an identical methodology and principles in all the clubs where he goes. And a word that characterizes him and comes up in the mouths of relatives and acquaintances that we interviewed: “requirement”. In this first episode, Goal deciphers Luis Campos’ recruitment method and speech.

1. RECRUITMENT, THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

In the eyes of the French public and not only, Luis Campos has built his reputation on his ability to unearth talents that have hatched at the highest level. From Lemar to Bernardo Silva via Osimhen or Jonathan David, the list is far too long to be given exhaustively. Even if he also had a few failures, especially during his period on the Rock (2013-2016).

To identify players, the new PSG sports adviser relies on a data company based in Portugal in which he is a shareholder and on a network of scouts who each alternate in turn in the area between two and three months. The objective: to scan all age categories, divisions and compare opinions.

If the opinions of recruiters are not always listened to by their hierarchy, the Portuguese is always attentive to everyone’s opinions and asks his teams to present him with the interesting profiles they have observed. Always eager for information, he does not hesitate to travel to see the matches (more than an average sports director), which the Covid period which frustrated him from this point of view, has not changed.

Campos does not hesitate to travel thousands of kilometers to meet a player. Before the start of the pandemic, he had for example taken the plane to go to Mexico in order to meet and validate the arrival of Eugenio Pizzuto in Lille. Almost 2 p.m. for a meeting at the airport. “For him, human contact is essential. When he analyzes a player, he does it not only on his performance on the pitch but also on how he wants to integrate him into the club’s game plan.testifies a member of his entourage.

The example of the puzzle

Its success also lies in its ability to associate players with each other, who were not necessarily big names where they went. At Losc, Benjamin André was one of the team’s driving forces during the title season (2020-2021), as was Kamil Glik in Monaco before (2016-2017).

To sum up his thinking, Campos has this sentence that he entrusts to his interlocutors: “a collective is a puzzle in which you must not associate the 24 most beautiful pieces but the 24 that fit together” “His real strength is to form a group of 24 or 26 players with complementarity also in character and compatibility on the ground, “summarizes a connoisseur. Quite the opposite of what PSG recently did in terms of recruitment.

In this logic, the former recruiter of José Mourinho is able to explain with an exacerbated sense of detail what he expects from his future recruits. “If Sven Botman wants to come to Lille, it’s because Luis has explained everything to him and he understands exactly the project, the way he’s going to play and his progress. He comes to Lille for Luis when he has other offers..

2. A CLEAR SPEECH

In the summer of 2020, Luis Campos goes to Villa Nova, a small restaurant in Tourcoing that he particularly likes. While eating there with the staff, he is challenged by a young Losc supporter accompanied by his dad.

“Is Victor Osimhen going to leave? », throws the boy. Embarrassed, the audience wonders how he will avoid disappointing this supporter. “Yes, he will leave, replies without hesitation the former Lille sports adviser before continuing: but do not worry, I am working to find an even better player and I will give all my energy so that this player arrived. » Less than two weeks later, Burak Yilmaz signed with the Mastiffs. And Jonathan David joined him soon after.

The PSG sports adviser is used to saying things as he thinks them, as they are, without bothering with timing and forms. The reputation of his outspokenness precedes him and his anger too.

He hates breaking the rules

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One only has to remember his very harsh words towards the referee of the Lille-PSG meeting in February. In the corridor of the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, the Portuguese had come out of his hinges to castigate Mr. Hamel’s decisions. This earned him a one-month suspension. “Luis is so demanding that it is sometimes difficult for some to work with him, but you can be sure that with Luis, things are said,” recalls a former collaborator. His rants or his remarks are, according to those close to him, the reflection of a daily and limitless requirement.

If a player lowers his foot, Campos will not hesitate to point it out to him in agreement with his coach. “He is not going to make a decision or do an interview with a member of the workforce without having asked the opinion of his coach. He is not someone who does things on his side, we explain. Luis is someone who puts an organization in place and what he hates the most is that you don’t respect it and the rules that go with it. »

And how does the interested party intend to let certain players know that they will have to leave PSG? “Whatever project he is working in, he always communicates one-on-one with the players. He informs them about his desire to have them in the new project or not.. At the beginning of July, the list of individual interviews is likely to be long.

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