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La Liga 2016/17: Real Madrid don't need a Sporting Director, says Florentino Perez despite Zinedine Zidane asking for one

Zinedine Zidane had requested for a Sporting Director at Real Madrid.

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 04:  Real Madrid CF president Florentino Perez (R) poses for a picture with Zinedine Zidane (L) as new Real Madrid head coach at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on January 4, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Zinedine Zidane was appointed as the manager of Real Madrid after Rafa Benitez was sacked last season

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez recently made clear his views on the position of a Sporting Director. According to the President, the club has no intention of bringing in someone to fill this role at the La Liga club.

Perez, was adamant that the club doesn’t require a Sporting Director and was quoted by El Diario, “We don't need a sporting director just because the media says so. Madrid need the best players and we don't need a sporting director for that.”

Florentino Perez is responsible for overseeing the transfers which is also part of the Sporting Director portfolio. However, the role also includes management of the youth academy which the President has been less actively involved in. 

Zinedine Zidane’s belief is that bringing in a specialist in that role will benefit the club as a whole.

Zidane’s request for assistance

Reports in the Spanish media have stated that Zidane, the current Madrid manager has requested for a Sporting Director. The Frenchman has identified Portuguese, Luis Campos for the job, who worked as an assistant to Mourinho at Real Madrid during the season 2012-13.

Campos has earlier held the role with French club Monaco and is fluent in several languages including Portuguese, French and Spanish. Campos is also considered as one of the best sporting directors in Europe. 

Zidane did try and acquire the services of Fabio Paratici, the Sporting Director at Juventus. However, the Italian cited current commitments with the Bianconeri as the reason for his refusal to move to the Spanish club.

Also read: Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid's midfield lacks defensive balance 

Jorge Valdano – The last Sporting Director

The position has been lying vacant ever since the departure of Jorge Valdano in the year 2011. The title of Sporting Director was never conferred on the Argentine and instead, he was known as the ‘general manager’. 

The Argentine’s role was perceived as a Sporting Director’s due to the nature of his work. Valdano chose to resign after falling out with the then Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho.

Since then, Valdano has even released a book named, “The 11 Powers of a League”, in which he was heavily critical of the Portuguese coach. In the book, his description of Mourinho is captured by the following words, “Mourinho is a figure who is perfectly suited to these bombastic, shallow times. I couldn't understand him because he is the antithesis of my sensitivity. Intelligence and ego are enemies and when they collide, the ego wins.  

Although Pardeza did take over the role in 2011, it was restricted only to managing the youth academy. Since then, Pardeza has moved on and the position has been lying vacant. 

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