From President Lopez and the ds Campos to the star Pépé: the secrets of Lille

From President Lopez and the ds Campos to the star Pépé: the secrets of Lille

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"Four or five players will leave this summer." One above all: "Pépé enters a price range that cannot be refused". Lille supermarket is open, according to President Gerard Lopez. Ninety pieces on display, from Thiago Maia to Jonathan Bambà. & Nbsp;

From the risk of relegation to the Champions Zone, from the 17th place of the last season to yesterday's manita at the PSG. Yes, five goals. Never has Tuchel's team - ten from 36 '- taken so many this year. Everything was ready for the eighth PSG title, one victory was enough to celebrate. 'Enough', big word when on the other side there is one of the best Ligue 1 talents like Nicolas Pépé: with yesterday's he rose to 19 & nbsp; nets & nbsp; in the championship, better than Neymar and Cavani. Only Mbappé above him. & Nbsp; Second place, +8 over Lyon and ever closer qualification for the Champions League.

But Pépé is just the latest in a string of talents passed through Lille. One for all? Eden Hazard, the highest-grossing assignment in club history. Other times, it was Payet and Digne's Lille, with Landreau on target and Rudi Garcia on the bench.

And it is precisely from the time of Garcia that Lille has not won a trophy. But in early 2017 comes the revolution signed Gerard Lopez, a Luxembourgish businessman who has traveled the world. His passions are cars - in Luxembourg he has a shed with more than a hundred cars - and football, in which he entered on tiptoe: first he bought a small Luxembourg club, then he started to take the percentages of the Brazilian players' cards. He also did it with Gerson, getting 22.5% of the midfielder at the time of Fluminense. "The secret is to find the right opportunity. To develop it, to make it grow without haste. And then, at the right time, to sell." It is his philosophy of life.

The right choices at the right time. Lopez made bingo by choosing Luis Campos as sporting director. To tell the truth, his name was suggested to him by his friend and current general manager of the club & nbsp; Marc Ingla, vice president of Barcelona from 2003 to 2008. Campos is one who has done everything in life. He started as a coach but did not go very well: in Portugal it was called 'campa', the grave. Because his teams were buried in the relegation cemetery.

In 2005 a parenthesis as a professor at the university, where he went with the Porsche that he could afford thanks to the money earned by acting as a consultant for the big clubs. Alt. Here we need a more important role: Mourinho takes him & nbsp; to Real to study the opponents. & Nbsp;

Well but not very well. Almost wasted. Because the boom came & nbsp; behind the desk. Al Monaco became the wizard of capital gains. & Nbsp; Lemar taken at 4 million and resold at 70, Fabinhò purchased for 6 and left at 45, with Bernardo Silva he made +55 million and with Bakayoko at Chelsea +37. But the most important is that of Mbappé al Psg, for which Monaco collected 180 million. Ds but not only: when Kylian wanted to leave, it was Campos who convinced him to remain aware of having a talent in his hands. & Nbsp; Mou wanted to take him to Chelsea but he preferred to stay in Monaco to continue his project. The right man when there is to be refounded, starting from the bottom to return to the top.

"He never has time to waste, he is always one step ahead" says those who know him well. Today we are talking about a real Campos method. Each season, together with his staff, he evaluates about three thousand profiles, especially in the 16-23 age group. A maximum time of three years, then it is decided whether to go ahead with the study or to discard them. The relationship must not exceed ten lines, and off-court behavior is decisive on a player's judgment. As demanding as few, he demands the maximum from himself and his staff.

Speed, organization and verticalisation. Thus & nbsp; Christophe Galtier conquired the world of Lille. Second best attack and second best defense of Ligue 1, impossible to compete with those Martians of the PSG. Yesterday, however, he managed to win 5-1. Ambitious and attentive to detail, as a player he was three seasons at Lille (also in Italy & nbsp; with a parenthesis at Monza in 1997-98). As a coach he became the hero of Saint-Etienne, winning a League Cup & nbsp; and qualifying the team in Europe for three consecutive seasons. Fantasy and offensive play, always change tactics based on the opponent to face. Ductile. He arrived in Lille in December 2017 to replace Marcelo Bielsa, and in a short time he put the team back on its feet and brought it to safety. Renewal until 2021 and desire to go far together.

President Lopez asks Campos to work mainly on the Brazilian market: this is how midfielder Thiago Mendes and winger Luiz Araùjo from San Paolo, Thiago Maia from Santos arrive. Other purchases in no particular order: Ikoné, Bamba (great zero hit), Malcuit (later sold to Napoli), Rafael Leão. & Nbsp; The masterpiece comes with the '95 class forward Nicolas Pépé. Wanted by Bielsa who deployed him first striker, Galtier put him back in the natural role of right wing: "My career has changed with his arrival" said the person concerned. Nothing truer, card sings: 18 goals and 11 assists in the league. From the third division to Ligue 1 in three seasons, the idea of ​​leaving football vanished in an instant. In the drawer the dream of wearing the Chelsea shirt like his Didier Drogba model. Meanwhile, play (and score) with Lille, the only team that has made five goals at the PSG.