In Marseille, Pablo Longoria quickly rose through the ranks. Recruited by Jacques-Henri Eyraud as sporting director, the 36-year-old Spaniard then took advantage of the chaos caused by JHE to take his place as president of OM. But since then, Longoria has been looking for a sports director.
For a time, the club’s technical director, David Friio, was considered the “unofficial DS” of the Phocaeans. Today, Longoria seems to have found the right recruit. Sky Italia indeed affirms that Javier Ribalta is on track to join the vice-champions of France in title.
Another Spaniard passed by big clubs
Aged 41, Ribalta is Spanish like Longoria and has just left Parma, the club where he held the position of technical director. Close to Longoria, Ribalta has a profile somewhat similar to that of the boss of OM, namely a young leader who has studied in various listed clubs.
Indeed, the Iberian was sporting director at Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2018 and has already held the position of recruitment director at Manchester United. The transfer window, an area he knows well since he started his career in 2008 at Torino as a recruiter, before moving to AC Milan and then to Juventus.