They met only four years ago. But they connected in such a way, that Paul Longoriathen sports director ché and current president of Olympique de Marseille at 35 years old, it took just a few months to appoint technical secretary to Sunday Catoira. And that now, although he is not granting interviews as a general rule, he makes an exception if it is about talking about the new sporting director of Espanyol. Even when AS’s call comes in the middle of the Ligue 1 Awards Gala.
“Sunday is consistency“, defines him laconically, before going into further descriptions: “It’s a great choice for Espanyolthe bet on someone so hardworking, honest and intelligent. He has a great opportunity to demonstrate the values that he has always exhibited in the clubs where he has been, but above all where I see that it will improve is that it will be a coherent, logical project and where all the pieces will be connected and make sense“, lists Longoria.
The ex of Juventus, Newcastle, Atalanta or Recreativo is clear: “Logic tells me that yes, that Domingo will contribute to making a bigger Espanyol“, an expression coined by the parakeet CEO, Mao Ye, last Friday during his presentation. “Because of its level, it is one of the best professionals in Spanish footballit’s your moment, the recognition of all the hours of work and a well-deserved appointment”, he points out.
From another phrase by Mao, regarding the “sufficient but limited” resources available to Catoira, Longoria highlights that “he has worked at all possible levels, with a full adaptability. If you have ten, Domingo will work on those profiles. If you have one, he will also know how to work very well in that stratum, It always adapts very well to the budget, and maximizes it“.
Spanish market, profiles and quarry
Longoria believes that the new blue and white sports director “will give a lot of priority to the Spanish market, which is necessary, because it gives a sense of identification to the club. And the second thing you’ll do is tWork not on particular markets but on player profiles that your coach demands“. And he also points out: “When I arrived at Valencia, Domingo had a comprehensive knowledge about Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. In fact, about many of the doubts that I may have about the championship, I speak with him and ask for his opinion, which is always frontal, direct and clear. He is a person of strong convictions“.
From the base, he adds that “at Valencia all the players and teams were known by heart”, so “at Espanyol, which has always been recognized for its quarry, will undoubtedly be one of the pillars on which he will continue to build the team and the club”.
An “adaptable” coach to Espanyol
And the coach? Can it be about Diego Martinez? He sends balls out Longoria, although he gives some clues: “He knows what he needs from the club at all times. He will choose a coach adaptable to Espanyol’s philosophy. And it will opt for specific profiles to a game identity. But I cannot comment on Diego Martínez, it would be disrespectful talking about a coaching election from a third club”. The same logic applies to Marcelino Garcia Toralwhom he knows well from his beginnings in football and Valencia.
“Sunday He beats you in everyday life, because of his knowledge, his personality and above all because of the good advice he gives when you have to make decisions“, explains the president of Olympique de Marseille, who considers that at Espanyol Catoira “you can establish a clear leadership, because you have a strong personality, and it is easy for others to follow you, but above all a leadership established by their emotional intelligence“.