In any field whatsoever, success is often born of the alchemy of a duo: Laurel and Hardy in humor, Boileau-Narcejac in literature or the Bryan twins in tennis. Luis Campos and Christophe Galtier could be their counterpart in football. Between the discreet Portuguese (57 years old) and Christophe Galtier, the Marseillais and former defender (very) sanguine two years his junior, the complicity was not however obvious when the latter landed in Lille at the end of 2017, in place of Marcelo Bielsa. Today, the first does not consider PSG, where he was officially appointed “football adviser” on June 10without the second on the bench.
“There is mutual trust and a good complementarity between them”, emphasizes Alain Perrin, who knows Galtier well for having had him as his assistant during his wanderings between 2004 and 2009 (Al-Aïn [Emirats Arabes Unis], Portsmouth, Sochaux, Lyon, Saint-Etienne). “Christophe may have desires in terms of recruitment, on profiles, but for him, it is not his job to seek out players, to inventory the possibilities, to conduct economic negotiations on transfers. It was all this part that Campos brought to Lille, and Christophe really appreciated his work. »
Ten million euros in compensation for Nice?
The two men could perhaps have met in Nice, where Galtier would have seen his friend replace Julien Fournier, the director of football for the Aiglons with whom the rupture is consummated. Finally, it is the former coach of Saint-Etienne and Losc who will leave the OGCN first, and, barring a stroke of luck, join Campos in Paris, after the Zidane mirage.
According The TeamPSG will buy back the last two years of the technician’s contract for nearly 10 million euros, while signing a nice check to Mauricio Pochettino and his staff to seal their farewell.
The Portuguese, also passed through Monaco, among others, and the Provençal will renew the thread of a story interrupted but not broken by the departure without notice of the first from Losc, in August 2020, due to incompatibility of mood with the director. general at the time, Marc Ingla. An absence which had greatly saddened Galtier, even if, with the team built by Campos, Lille would finish champion a few months later.
« [Son absence] adds a workload that I do not need on a daily basis, lamented in November 2020 the technician in The Team. Luis is the one who was in constant contact with the players and their entourage, because he was the one who went to get them. When it was necessary to solve a problem with a player, there was Luis. In the strategy, in the long-term reflections, in the construction of the teams, he was there… ”
Since then, the two men have reconnected and exchange regularly. Their future collaboration in the capital will be based on the same springs as in the North: engineer Campos to build the team, offer profiles for targeted positions and ensure the work in the back office; the prosaic Galtier to assemble the parts and operate the machine in the field, without getting involved in the discussions of carpet merchants, especially during the transfer window.
A tandem often “Achilles’ heel of clubs”
The recipe seems clear, the limits between the functions perfectly fixed. And on this good relationship can rest the success of a club, as indicated Guy Lacombe, even if Campos will not be a classic sports director, since not even an employee. “It is essential that there is an osmosis between the coach and the sports director, asserts the former Parisian coach, from 2005 to 2007. It is often the Achilles heel of clubs, especially at PSG in recent years , and it’s complicated to move in the right direction in these cases. It has to work in tandem, otherwise there will be a lack of consistency in the sporting choices and, by domino effect, on the pitch. »
Lacombe transforms the duo into a trio:
“There are three people who must walk hand in hand, as much as possible: the president, the sports director and the coach. However in Paris, the leaders made decisions, players, which were not in line with the will of the coaches. We put everything on the back of the last Parisian coaches but, excuse me, it makes me laugh gently. I think we’ve had some great people on the PSG bench in recent years, Emery, Tuchel, it was very high level, they proved it just after leaving the club. »
Now retired from the field, the 67-year-old Aveyronnais, living in Brittany, thus remembers his good relations with President Pierre Blayau and the “DS” Jean-Michel Moutier from the time of Canal +, before the American fund Colony Capital, do not break this harmony. Since then, Paris has again changed ownership and size. Christophe Galtier should become the second French coach of the demanding QSI era after Laurent Blanc (2013-2016).
“Campos will have to wet the jersey a little more”
It will start to silence the evil spirits who observe that the Marseillais has never had to manage such an audience of stars. Alain Perrin is not worried about this, recalling that his then deputy had stuck in the 2000s with a locker room rich in internationals of all nationalities, and the egos that go with it.
If he flatters the qualities of his former number 2, “who has always obtained results a little higher than what one could expect”, and “the network and the overall vision” of Luis Campos, he points however a cause for concern. “Campos will have to wet the jersey a little more, judge Perrin. On its mode of operation in Lille, I found that once the team was built, he took a lot of distance. It is a service provider to build a workforce. But the club needs a sporting director who has a vision, which he has, but who behind it also provides a link between players and coach, leaders, the press. I call it after-sales service, so that it’s not just the coach who finds himself on the front line. Leonardo had a role, liked it or not, but he had done the job. »
And Antero Henrique in all this?
Luxury auto-entrepreneur, the Portuguese finds himself in “charge of the organization, recruitment and performance” of PSG, according to the club press release. But it still works with its own external structure, and its own recruiters, which it also puts at the service of Celta Vigo, 11th in the last Liga.
Galtier could therefore not always be able to count on his partner when a gust of wind will rock the Parisian boat. The question will then arise of the role of another Portuguese leader, Antero Henrique, former sports director (2017-2019), who has returned to help out at the Parisian club, but whose contours of the function are struggling to be defined.