Meet Monchi: The master strategist behind Sevilla’s continued success in Europe

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In a world the place every passage of play will get decoded into small bits of numerical data, scoping the lay of the land as a scout has turn out to be overly reliant on knowledge. Or at the least, that’s what a soccer scouting mastermind thinks.

Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, extra popularly generally known as Monchi, has revolutionised what it means to be a sporting director ever since he swapped his package for a go well with twenty years in the past. Through his reinvented method of securing cost-effective offers, Monchi has constructed a system that has turn out to be an compulsory blueprint for many golf equipment.

Before his arrival in 2000, Sevilla hadn’t gained a serious trophy since 1948. Following his involvement, the red-and-whites now have ten — six UEFA Europa League crowns in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020, one UEFA Super Cup in 2006, two Copa del Rey trophies in 2007 and 2010, and lastly, one Supercopa de Espana in 2007. Apart from the silverware, Sevilla have additionally made it to 10 different finals.

So, how does Monchi make sure the continued success of the membership?

“At Sevilla, we work with a specific combination — the subjective and the objective. The scouting process gives us a subjective report of the players and in parallel, we procure the objective data through things like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. If you don’t take data into account, it’s really not a good thing,” the 52-year-old instructed indianexpress.com in a latest on-line interplay.

“Statistics and data are increasingly getting more important. But not just expected goals or expected assists; accurate passes, duels won, successful one-on-ones; everything is a measure now. A singular match generates eight million data and our job is to identify the exact numbers for our player profile,” he continued.

Through his strategy of assessing comparatively unknown gamers after which shopping for them on a budget, Monchi has repeatedly strengthened the foundations of the membership. Over the course of his two spells because the sporting director, he has introduced gamers like Dani Alves, Seydou Keita, Ivan Rakitic and Jules Kounde to Andalusia on low-risk offers and, unsurprisingly, all of them have helped Sevilla attain newer heights.

Monchi did depart Sevilla as soon as again in 2017 when he packed his baggage for Italy. He lasted lower than two years at AS Roma, however upon returning to his hometown membership, he was as soon as once more amidst silverware. Along with new head coach Julen Lopetegui, he began one other “transformation process”; one which noticed the arrivals of Lucas Ocampos, Luuk de Jong, Youssef En-Nesyri and Diego Carlos. Since then, Sevilla have gained a UEFA Europa League, certified for UEFA Champions League, and at the moment are on the right track to a Copa del Rey last and consecutive top-four finishes in La Liga.

“The obligation to win the domestic league title each year belongs to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but we’re quite close to them. Although we have played one more, we are still just seven points behind from the top,” stated Monchi. “Sevilla as a club aims to close the gap with them and that’s why we brought in experienced players like Rakitic and Papu Gomez from Barcelona and Atalanta respectively this season. We are certainly going to compete more in the future.”

Monchi, a former goalkeeper, performed 126 matches for Sevilla till his retirement in 1999.

“Achieving regular UEFA Champions League qualification is essential for us because that generates more income. Then and only then, we can build an even more competitive squad. But obviously, the transfer market still needs to go back to normal, back to the days before the pandemic and that’s going to take some time.”

Although the virus outbreak quickly threw a wrench in the works final 12 months, Monchi and his staff didn’t have the chance to take a relaxation chew. Because of the lockdown, his staff of 12 full-time scouts needed to depend on 1000’s of video footages to control the totally different leagues in France, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, Croatia and so on. On the opposite hand, the data-driven analysis division consists of simply 9 folks. “Mostly mathematicians, engineers and statisticians,” he added.

The “Monchi Method” includes 4 steps — firstly, the scouts from throughout the globe present their detailed participant recordsdata, then the knowledge will get filtered for every totally different place. After making a complete listing, the experiences are given to the information division for last scrutiny. Lastly, the scouting staff sits down with the pinnacle coach to pinpoint the precise profile after which the signing course of begins.

When requested about his favorite signing throughout his time on the membership, Monchi beamed, saying, “The player who I am proudest of? Possibly, Dani Alves. He fulfilled all the steps: young and unknown, successful with the club, and also sold for profit.”

From managing membership transfers to maintaining a tally of the squad improvement and the youth academy setup to even choosing new coaches, Monchi does all of it. “A sporting director now has the most responsibility in a club. If we are talking about his functions, it’s his job to bring in new players and handle the budget. This position is increasingly gaining importance and now it has a lot more training,” he stated.

“I am really happy in Spain and especially in Sevilla. I have been with the club for 32 years. To work for Sevilla is a true privilege. I don’t see any other future because I have absolutely everything; trust, freedom, relations. Plus, I am a Sevilla supporter,” he concluded answering a query about his future.

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