8 best football sporting directors: The power behind a team

13/05/2024 Betting News

In the world of football, the role of sporting directors is crucial to building and developing successful teams. They not only manage player transfer operations but also shape tactics, make strategic decisions and build the foundation for the club’s success. Below Wintips shares a list of 8 best football sporting directors recognized globally.

Top 8 best sporting directors in football

1. Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Txiki Begiristain has played a very successful role both at Barcelona and Manchester City. Begiristain was a key member of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team at Camp Nou in the past, thus, he deeply understands the philosophy of total football. He also played a significant role in bringing Pep Guardiola to manage Barcelona in 2008 and had a significant influence on Manchester City’s decision to appoint Pep.

Txiki Begiristain - Best football sporting directors
Txiki Begiristain – Best football sporting directors

At Barcelona, Begiristain brought in iconic players like Dani Alves, Eric Abidal, and Gerard Pique. He has done similarly at Manchester City, expanding their scouting to include talented young players from both within and outside the country. However, at Manchester City, he has also faced criticism for signings like Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony.

2. Marcel Brands (PSV)

Marcel Brands is an experienced football executive with impressive achievements in developing football clubs in the Netherlands. During his time at RKC Waalwijk, he succeeded in bringing in Martin Jol and helped the team rise higher in the Eredivisie standings.

At AZ, Marcel Brands showed a keen eye for promising young talents like Sergio Romero, Ragnar Klavan, and Moussa Dembele. With these talents, the team won the league title in 2009. However, when he moved to PSV, he initially failed to overthrow Ajax in his first year.

Marcel Brands - Best football sporting directors
Marcel Brands – Best football sporting directors

A significant change occurred when Art Lengeler was appointed head of the academy, and together with Marcel Brands, they adjusted the club’s transfer policy. Thanks to these efforts, along with the collaboration of coach Phillip Cocu, PSV won their first Eredivisie title in seven years in 2015. Afterward, Marcel Brands made smart investment decisions, selling players like Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay at high prices to fund the team’s development and continued success.

3. Giuseppe Marotta (Juventus)

The recent success of Juventus cannot overlook Marotta’s role. After effective work at Atalanta and Sampdoria, Marotta was hired by Juventus in 2010 to revive the team after Calciopoli. The results have been exceptional, with Juventus dominating Serie A for the past five years and aiming for a record sixth consecutive title.

Giuseppe Marotta - Best football sporting directors
Giuseppe Marotta – Best football sporting directors

Much of this success is attributed to Marotta’s astute and daring negotiation skills, such as appointing Antonio Conte via phone in 2011 and subsequently replacing him with Max Allegri three years later. Marotta’s transfer policy has also been impressive, often acquiring quality players at low prices. Players like Andrea Pirlo, Sami Khedira, and Paul Pogba have made significant contributions both on the field and economically. Additionally, names like Carlos Tevez, Patrice Evra, Andrea Barzagli, and Arturo Vidal have bolstered the team.

4. Monchi (Sevilla)

Sevilla’s golden period can be largely attributed to Monchi’s impact as sporting director since 2000. From a financially unstable position after relegation, he has helped the club resurrect, winning two consecutive Europa League titles and a UEFA Super Cup in recent years. Under his supervision, a series of young talents were given the opportunity to excel before moving on at high prices, such as Sergio Ramos, Alberto Moreno, Jesus Navas, and Jose Antonio Reyes.

Monchi - Best sporting directors
Monchi – Best sporting directors

Besides nurturing homegrown talents, Monchi has facilitated efficient transfers with signings like Ever Banega, Luis Fabiano, and Frederic Kanoute. The club also gained substantial profits from selling stars like Dani Alves, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Ivan Rakitic, and Carlos Bacca.

5. Ralf Rangnick (RB Leipzig)

A relatively unknown player, Rangnick rose to fame as the manager of Schalke, leading the team to second place in the Bundesliga and the Champions League semi-finals in the past. In 2012, he transitioned to a sporting director role with Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig. Here, he established stronger strategies beyond tactical matters.

Ralf Rangnick - Best sporting directors
Ralf Rangnick – Best sporting directors

He has excelled in scouting and youth development roles, along with shrewdly appointing coaches like Roger Schmidt at Salzburg and more recently Ralph Hasenhuttl at Leipzig. Regarding scouting, he specifically focused on players aged 17 to 23. Notable recruits in the past include Sadio Mane, Joshua Kimmich, and Naby Keita.

6. Les Reed (Southampton)

The dismissal of Nigel Adkins and the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino marked a turning point in Les Reed’s tenure at Southampton. Since joining The Saints as sporting director in 2010, one of his main priorities has been to set clear plans with the managers. He stated in the Telegraph last year, We aim to find talent all over Europe but never do it with the manager and coaching staff.

Les Reed - Best sporting directors in football
Les Reed – Best sporting directors in football

As a result, managers have always been given full trust when leading Southampton, proven by Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, and currently Claude Puel. The club’s identity has also been maintained through a youth academy consistently finding talents to replace departing stars at high prices.

7. Michael Zorc (Borussia Dortmund)

Zorc is a Dortmund legend, having been a prolific striker for the club before becoming Sporting Director and Transfer Expert. He played a crucial role in rejuvenating and rejuvenating the team after Dortmund faced financial difficulties in the early 2000s.

Dortmund’s strategy under Zorc’s leadership focused on finding young, promising players and developing their strengths. This included a transfer policy with reasonable costs, focusing on discovering hidden talents. Zorc successfully brought in names like Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan, and Robert Lewandowski, turning them into standout players for Dortmund.

Michael Zorc - Best sporting directors in football
Michael Zorc – Best sporting directors in football

Moreover, Zorc targeted promising young talents like Emre Mor, Ousmane Dembele, and Mikel Merino, hoping they would continue the success of their predecessors. Zorc’s strategy not only saved costs but also brought the team back to the top of German football with talented players and successful transfers.

8. Michael Edwards (Liverpool)

Michael Edwards is a name synonymous with Liverpool’s success over the years. Before becoming Liverpool’s Sporting Director from 2016 to 2022, he spent decades working at Anfield, accumulating considerable experience and impressive achievements.

Edwards’ commitment to Liverpool has been instrumental in the club’s recent success, particularly under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp. He is considered one of the masterminds behind the team’s resurgence, making significant contributions to bring Liverpool back to the top of European football.

Michael Edwards - Best sporting directors in football
Michael Edwards – Best sporting directors in football

Edwards’ role is not just about recruiting top talents but also building a strong squad. Deals like signing Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton or Alisson Becker from AS Roma are clear evidence of his talent in transfers. Edwards also made significant contributions to developing young talents like Trent Alexander-Arnold or Harvey Elliott, helping Liverpool maintain competitiveness at the highest level of world football.


Above is a list of 8 best football sporting directors, each of whom has impressive achievements and unmissable contributions in the development of the world’s top football clubs. Their talent, strategy and ability to shape are key factors in helping teams achieve success in the long run. Thank you for following our article!

See also: Top 10 oldest Premier League players today

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