Monchi spoke to Sports Illustrated about the club and a variety of topics. These are his words:
Describe your role and how you’ve become a recognised sporting director.
It’s not easy to describe to sum it up it’s about the planning the sporting model of the club from which players we buy, sell, the manager we hire. Luckily, the job is becoming more and more important. The sporting director isn’t the main actor in the movie of football – usually it’s the manager and players. That’s why it’s difficult to recognise most directors.
Why has the sporting director role evolved more in Europe versus England?
It depends on the model, I identify three types: the presidential one, the English one, which revolves around the figure of the Mister, and then there’s the mixed one, where the president, manager and sporting director coexist. In my opinion, the most balanced is the last, where the president decides the type of investments, the manager tracks the profiles of the players, and the sporting director looks for the players. In England, the model of having the manager as the figurehead tends to prevail, but in my opinion, we are slowly moving towards the European model, because in England, we are seeing more and more foreign coaches who are used to working in a certain way.
Why did you want to leave Sevilla?
I get this question a lot. I really thought it was time for me to change after spending 29 years at the same club. I felt I needed to experience new things and prove that I could do things abroad. Many thought I fought with the president but really I just needed a new experience.
Why did you choose Roma?
Because all the options I had, Roma was the club offering me the chance to be Monchi, this was key. The independence, autonomy, responsibilities, and the chance to be myself was important. I wanted to carry out my job, Roma didn’t try to change my identity. My choice was correct.
What’s the structure like at the club? Do you hire and sack the manager?
The hierarchy is similar to any club. There’s a president, CEO, board…Pallotta is my boss. This relationship works great. I have a great relationship with Gandini and Baldissoni. I’m responsible for hiring and sacking the manager, this is a part of my competency.
How do you indentify talent?
My answer isn’t so original – it’s through hard work. It’s inportant to have a good scouting network to get to the players as soon as possible. Data is also important and can help get to a player sooner than the rest. We have 15 scouts and share the work amongst leagues. We enter the information in a bank but right now we are busy building a scouting network to monitor certain players.
How is your job different at Roma versus Sevilla?
It’s different from many points. There is more media and social attention here. The two clubs work different because of country…it took me time to find the Monchi that Roma needed and not the one at Sevilla. The way to work is similar, though.
Your goal at Roma?
I want to build a sustainable and stable economic model. I want to get Roma as close as possible to an elite and successful level.
How much longer will Roma have to sell due to FFP?
We are working to find economic stability to find when we should or shouldn’t find a player. It won’t mean we won’t sell players, selling is normal. We must continue to develop and grow. Neymar, Ronaldo, Pogba…many have been sold. But reinvesting we’ll is the most important.
How would a stadium affect your job at Roma?
A lot because it would be an important source of revenue that would raise our brand. It would give the club the ability to invest more money and would be very important for AS Roma.