Modern football has modern problems...and modern roles to sort them out. The sporting director is one such new role that has become synonymous with the power dynamics of football in our day and age. For many big clubs, it is now a necessity to employ a top sporting director at the club.
So what does a sporting director do? Often, the newness of the role causes confusion among both fans and insiders about the exact duties of a sporting director. In reality, the job entails various facets like mediation between the board and the players and manager, and between the business and sports side of things, among other responsibilities.
5 best sporting directors in football:
Transfers and contracts are also the prerogative of a sporting director along with other aspects of modern football where the game intersects with the financial side. Sporting directors such as Txiki Begiristain at Manchester City have extensive knowledge of the game and also have the business acumen necessary for the job.
He features prominently in this list of the five best sporting directors in football.
#5 Luis Campos (Lille)
Luis Campos, currently at Lille, is a legend in his role. It speaks volumes of the mysterious ways that sporting directors function because Campos' name is not as well known as managers and players. Campos is a consummate spotter of talent and has found and nurtured players like Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.
Campos achieved unprecedented success while working in the background as director at Monaco when the club won the Ligue 1 and reached the last four of the Champions League. He turned in profits as well as results on the pitch for the club before moving on to Lille where he has continued to work wonders in his own mysterious ways.
Reportedly, some of the elite European football clubs are seeking his services, but for now he is the head of scouting at Lille who are becoming a giant in French football.
#4 Ralph Rangnick (Leipzig)
Heavily linked with the manager's job at AC Milan before they turned around their fortunes last season, Ralph Rangnick, is another legend when it comes to spotting talent. Players like Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino owe their big breaks in football to him.
As a director with the RB franchise, Rangnick worked his magic on the field as well as in the board room. Focusing primarily on RB Leipzig, Ragnick worked with the management and the off-pitch staff to take the newest club in Germany from the last tier to the Bundesliga as well as the Champions League semi-final.
A former player and coach, Rangnick, marries financial profit and success on the pitch dexterously, which is a hallmark of a great director.