In December 2020, during an interview for Provence, Pablo Longoria was asked about the role models he had in football. The one who was not yet president of OM then spoke spontaneously about … Javier Ribaltahis compatriot but above all his hierarchical superior during his time at Juventus between 2015 and 2017. The roles are now reversed, with a Ribalta director of football at OM, in the presidency of Longoria, six years his junior. What to ask some questions. Why does Pablo Longoria hire a profile similar to his? Are we putting two roosters in the scouting barnyard? Couldn’t Ribalta’s ego frustrate the mechanics of a now reversed hierarchy? These fears, legitimate when you know how much quarrels between Marseille leaders have ruined seasons, have one merit: knowing how the two men intend to work together.
Longoria considers Ribalta close to her
Already, at the origin of this decision, there is a fact: if some players finished the season exhausted, drawing to the end of their reserve and contenting themselves with recovering between two games, it was also the case of the president. , who did not spare himself, the stress not helping. At the club, we don’t even try to hide it. “It’s true, he finished the season exhausted. A lot of explanations with the shareholder, a lot of steps to put in place throughout the year to restructure the club as he saw fit”. The arrival of a reinforcement would not be too much, and therefore to choose, Pablo Longoria surrounds himself with someone he trusts. Which is never superfluous in football… ten years ago, Eric Roy had campaigned, with a view to structuring OGC Nice, for the recruitment of Julien Fournier as sports director. Once hired, a few months later, the latter will decide for the dismissal of Roy, without making feelings. In its official press release, OM highlighted the word tandem, which owes nothing to chance. Longoria and Ribalta don’t seem to be among those who go to bed wondering which of the two has the best conditions. They seem rather aware that, in a world of football increasingly in the hands of businessmen and pension funds which only think in terms of profitability, the people capable of increasing the market values of a squad are the key. . Suddenly, while almost all the clubs seek to do the same thing, profits on the transfer market, to make the difference, as much to bring with you the most skills, even if it means dividing the share of the merit. In the middle of the week, Javier Ribalta and Pablo Longoria flew to Brazil to meet Jorge Sampaoli. The idea seems to be to all work together, not to add a person to the organization chart to allow the one at the top to take on even more height.
No time to waste for Javier Ribalta at OM. He flew to Brazil with Pablo Longoria to meet Jorge Sampaoli
— Romain Canuti (@romcanuti) June 18, 2022
Not to abandon scouting, far from it…
But then even if it means surrounding yourself, because it is difficult to do everything alone, and by someone you trust, why not take a profile whose specialty is meetings of influence between leaders at the headquarters of the League by example ? Is it because Longoria wants to distance itself from recruitment? On the contrary. It is because the president of OM intends to continue to swallow matches late in the night to find a future prospect that he surrounds himself with someone who will be able to answer the phone, to confirm , or refute his impression. A relative who knows him well enough to tell him if he is on the wrong track and who will be listened to because he too knows the subject. To continue on this image, Ribalta will also be able to answer the telephone when an agent wants to propose his player to the president of OM and that this one will be taken in a meeting for the TV rights for example. Today, when he has to talk about the Ryad Mahrez affair again when he was president of OM, Vincent Labrune obviously regrets having badly packed up his adviser but also explains that he had many other things. to manage at the same time. If the case recurs, Pablo Longoria will be able to redirect him directly to Javier Ribalta. Who should quickly know what to do…