The Champions League is a tournament that has historically eluded French football. Olympique Marseille was the only team in Ligue 1 capable of putting the Orejona (In 1993 he beat Milan 1-0 in the final). In total they fell into five definitions: Stade de Reims in 1956 and 1959, Saint Etienne in 1976, Olympique Marseille in 1991 and Monaco in 2004.
This Sunday, from 4 p.m. at the Lisbon Light Stadium, Paris Saint Germain will try to break the “curse” against a Bayern Munich that seems unbeatable, showing an undefeated in 25 games. To reach a definition for the first time in the highest continental competition, the French had to carry out a mega project full of figures.
Without being in the focus of most of the reflectors, one of the important pieces for PSG to have one of the best squads on the planet is an Argentine. Is about Luis Ferrer.
The cast of the French capital, for several seasons, arm their teams with a single objective: to conquer Europe. However, until this season he had never exceeded the barrier of the semifinals (he had only reached that stage in the 94/95 edition). At the international level, he only managed to raise the Recopa de Europa and the extinct Intertoto Cup.
“When Qatar entered the club as owner the changes were very marked. I experienced it firsthand. They set themselves the goal of what will happen on Sunday. They put everything necessary to reach this final. And in all aspects, not only in sports. In the technical secretariat and players, but also in the other part, in the Paris Saint Germain brand. We worked together to get to this, ”Ferrer explained to Infobae.
Under the new authorities, the institution became the most powerful club in their country, winning seven Ligue 1, five French Cups, six League Cups and seven French Super Cups since 2012.
“This final is the most important game in the club’s history. All France is behind, waiting. Except for Marseille, which is the classic (both are the protagonists of the The classic, the most important game in Ligue 1). Right now it is the 50th anniversary of the club (he fulfilled them this month), so consecrating oneself would be a great joy for the fans and those of us who work at the club. It would be to achieve the goal after so much time of work. Everyone is aware of this long-awaited opportunity. For us it is like a final of the world, we live with that magnitude ”, she commented.
Whatever happens this Sunday, at PSG they are clear about the path. “The club continues to have the same expectations, which is to continue at the top of world football. That is what we have outlined ”.
THE STORY OF LUIS FERRER:
He was born on September 21, 1975 in Laboulaye, Córdoba, he had an ephemeral passage through Argentine soccer. Most of his career was built on the French ascent. However, after his retirement, he managed to reinvent himself to become an important leader within the organization chart of the Parisian cadre, one of the most powerful today.
When he was 17 years old, when he was playing in the First Sporting Club of his city, he dared to take a bus and try your luck in Buenos Aires, more precisely in River. There he managed to convince Héctor Pitarch and joined the Fifth Division, where he shared the squad with Hernán Crespo.
His way in the Millionaire was truncated (he never made his debut in the First Division) and his best memory in Argentine football was with the Sarmiento de Junín shirt, with which he achieved promotion to the National B in 1996. In that campaign he played 33 games as a midfielder on the right and scored 4 goals.
The following year, at the hands of his uncle Rafael Santos and former Vélez and now commentator Omar Da Fonseca, he managed to try his luck in France, defending the colors of Paris FC and AC Ajaccien.
In Gallic territory he found his place in the world, since he played professionally for ten seasons. When he retired, Ferrer decided to reinvent himself and swap boots for suits. He went to the other side of the counter: he stopped being a footballer to become a manager. His first job was at OGC NIZA, where he forged a great relationship with Hugo Lloris, current leader of Tottenham in England and starting goalkeeper for the France team that won the World Cup in Russia 2018.
To illustrate that friendship, the Argentine recalled an old anecdote. In 2004, while working in the technical secretariat, the Reserve coach asked him for an unexpected favor: to be a goalkeeper coach. Luis gave him a hand and left his mark: he changed the way he got the man out of the Spurs. “I showed him videos of some Argentines, who when they connected the ball to serve, they volleyed. At that time, in Europe, they did it in a different way, pulling up ”, he explained.
Already in Saint Etienne, his phone rang and an interesting possibility was presented to him: disembark at Paris Saint Germain. In 2009 the club from the French capital sought him out with the intention of deepening its search within the South American market, especially the Argentine one.
Three years later the institutional life of PSG took a radical turn. The landing of the Qatar Investment Authority occurred. With a significant injection of euros, the club took on a much more leading role at the national and world level in the transfer market. “They told us that we had to take PSG to the top. It sounded difficult, but they did it “He knew how to recognize the Cordovan at the time.
With the Brazilian Leonardo as sports director – in his first step he was from 2011 until mid-2013 and after passing through Antalyaspor of Turkey and Milan of Italy he returned in June 2019-, the club closed contracts such as those of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Lugano , Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore, Maxwell, Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi (Ferrer had taken him to Saint Etienne after seeing him on the ascent), Salvatore Sirigu, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Lucas Moura and David Beckham, among others.
“My role is related to the arrival of new players to the professional squad. Today I don’t have a specific role, as a scout or a manager can have,” he said.
It is worth noting that Ferrer recently gained notoriety by being a key factor in convincing Kylian Mbappé to scrap Real Madrid’s offer and join Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco.
“We had to do twice as much work as Real Madrid. We went to his house, we talked to them, we showed them the project… We had to do many things to show them that we truly loved him, that we were going to make him play, that he was important to us. Luckily he believed us and we were able to close it. When they called him Zidane and Real Madrid, who had just won two Champions League at that time, it was very difficult to think that we were going to convince him. We did everything one can imagine to convince him and the family“, The Argentine recognized Infobae in an interview given early last year.
One night, after extensive talk, he felt that all was practically lost. But he did not lower his arms and in his last attempt he managed to stay with the most sought-after player of the moment -and today-: “The next morning I took a plane to have breakfast with his family and tell them that I had to stay in France. We had to convince them that it was not the time to leave the country. One of the points was that. Our key was ‘stay in France, show here, that later you have time to go do an experience abroad’”Ferrer acknowledged.
“We look for what we think we need, but it is a joint communication with the coach. We are in constant contact and follow-up with all the players that we consider to have a level to play at PSG. For example, if there is no right back, we have a profile of what we need. And so in each position ”, clarified at the time the Argentine who is part of the board of directors of the champion entity of the last Ligue 1.
The recent growth of the club thanks to Qatari investments made finding young talent in South America more complex. “They may have the potential, but being ready is difficult. We must be aware that it is a big leap, and in some cases it is necessary that they make a previous step in another institution,” he argued.
Ferrer said that, although the technical director has interference in the negotiations, the most important word to carry out a negotiation for a footballer is the sports director. “You have to consult him, but the one who decides is the manager. He is consulted to know his opinion, but the one who has the last word is the manager, generally. Although here we also have a president (NdR: Nasser Al-Khelaïfi) who this slope”.
“The profile we are looking for is that they have the level to play for PSG. The economic is a second aspect. Private life is essential, it is the main thing. You can have the conditions and be mentally prepared, but if you have a conflictive private life … You have to have that information, “he stressed, making it clear that what athletes do outside the field of play is key to a successful negotiation.
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