5. Dani Alves, efficiency, free
In Turin, the arrival of Javier Ribalta coincides with the return to the forefront of Juventus in Italy. First recruited by the Old Lady to find young players, the Spaniard ends up specializing in the search for experienced players whose contractual situation presents an opportunity. Which, in the long term, should allow the Piedmontese club to find the gratin of Europe.
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This stipulates that in the event of activation before June 5, Daniel Alves can leave the Blaugrana club freely. In a few days, the Turin management is activated, negotiates a contractual agreement with the Brazilian and completes his transfer. A few days earlier, the side celebrated the titles on the lawn of Camp Nou, without saying goodbye. Until the last moment, none of his teammates had considered his departure.
4. Leandro Paredes, the nerve sale
Javier Ribalta has a skill that could be very useful at Olympique de Marseille. He knows how to sell. Quick. Well. When he arrived at Zenit in the summer of 2018, the Saint Petersburg club had not been able to win the league title since 2015. To stop the domination of the Moscow teams (CSKA, Lokomotiv, Dynamo), the ‘Spanish must free up funds to rebuild an entire squad.
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That’s good, Paris Saint-Germain is looking for a midfielder and is interested in Leandro Paredes, indisputable holder at Zenit. A year earlier, the Russian club made a major financial effort to afford the Argentinian international – 23 million euros. And accepted the idea that at this price, a capital gain on resale would be a miracle: historically, the big European clubs refuse to take big financial risks for players playing in the Russian championship.
Result of the races: Paris pays 47 million euros to afford the Argentinian. The investment is doubled. With this money, Zenit will afford three players (Azmoun, Barrios, Rakitskiy). Chelsea, where Maurizio Sarri had requested the arrival of the Argentinian, had only offered 20 million euros.
3. Kingsley Coman, the discovery of the good vein
2014, Paris only has eyes for the stars that Qatari owners can offer it. Ribalta has his eye on Kingsley Coman. For several months, the Spaniard dissects the videos of the young winger, takes notes and multiplies the trips to Paris to observe him more closely. The Titi becomes the youngest player in the history of the club to play in Ligue 1. But his trainee contract is coming to an end and the PSG, already very armed on the offensive level, cannot offer him sporting guarantees.
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2. Pogba, the record find
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Alerted by its recruiter, the Turin management tries the blow. And won’t regret it. In Piedmont, Pogba exploded and became one of the best midfielders in Serie A. Four years later, he returned to Manchester United to become the most expensive player in history (105 million euros). Ribalta changes status. And enjoys blind trust.
1. Bruno Fernandes, the farewell gift of 40,000 euros
In Novara, Ribalta finally gets the job he has always dreamed of. After passing through Milan, he became, in 2011, the head of the recruitment unit of the small Piedmontese club. The leader discovers a very unstable environment there and decides to look elsewhere after only one season. But before leaving, he submits one last idea. During his many hours of viewing in his office, Ribalta flashed on a young player playing with the Boavista U19s. Bruno Fernandes.
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In Portugal, not many people believe in this midfielder who has not even gone under the radar of the “very Big” (Porto, Benfica, Sporting). Convinced by his recruiter, Novara tries the bet. And pays out… 40,000 euros. The Portuguese’s first season in Serie B is a success. A year later, Udinese rushed the player with a check for 2.5 million euros. Novara multiplied its investment by 62.5.
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