Monchi: “Lopetegui is demanding of his players, never selfish and handles pressure”


Former Sevilla sporting director Monchi believes Julen Lopetegui would be well suited to Milan: “He won’t have any problem because he’s used to working in big teams.” The pair worked together for three years at the Andalusian side, winning the 2019-20 Europa League. Speaking with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Monchi talked about his time with the coach, explaining why he would be a good fit for the Rossoneri:

“Julen, for me, has three virtues that I consider fundamental for any coach: great professionalism, competitiveness, and group management. When I started talking to him about bringing him to Sevilla, it was something I immediately sensed, and certain qualities don’t diminish over time; in fact, they are strengthened with experience. When we started working on building the team, that Sevilla needed a radical change in terms of personnel, the virtues I visualized in our initial conversations materialized in everyday life, between training sessions and matches, and led to the achievement of the set objectives.”

Do you think he can adapt well to Milan?

“Yes. He won’t have any problem because he’s used to working in big teams, and therefore in situations of great pressure and demand. I think of Porto, Real Madrid, the Spanish national team, Sevilla, situations where expectations are a daily occurrence. That’s why I’m convinced that Julen is a perfect candidate to take on the constant demand at a club like Milan, one of Europe’s giants.”

And in Serie A?

“The same. Firstly, football is becoming increasingly globalized every day. In Italian football, tactical aspects have historically been of great importance, and Julen is a coach who works very well in this regard and has great alternatives both offensively and defensively. I believe he can adapt perfectly.”

However, Milan is coming from a difficult moment.

“Yes, it can be a complicated moment to take charge of Milan given what has happened in recent months, but even in this aspect, Julen has great experience. When he arrived at Sevilla, the club had had two rather difficult years, and the same happened to him at Wolverhampton, which he took over in a deep crisis and turned around. And with the national team, he had lifted an environment in difficulty. These are three important examples in my opinion. That’s why I believe he can be very helpful to this Milan.”

Anything else to highlight?

“Two things. Julen is a suitable figure because he knows how to bring out the best in players, and not only that, another important aspect should be considered: he is a coach accustomed to working with and for the club. He understands and perfectly interprets the needs of the organization. He has his demands, his requests, as is normal, but he always works in harmony with the club. He is demanding, but always for the good of those who entrusted him with the team and never for personal selfishness. He is a true club man. As a sporting director, I speak from personal experience: I worked very comfortably and productively with him.”

Let’s conclude with the tactical aspect.

“He is a coach who asks his teams to press high, leaving little space between the lines, compacting the lines to try to quickly initiate pressure once the ball is lost. And in the construction phase, he likes to keep possession, dominate the game, widen the field to try to generate the necessary space to hurt the opponent. This on the field. In the locker room, he is a coach who handles the group well, capable of convincing the players of their qualities and the possibility of achieving the set objectives. For all these reasons, he is an ideal coach for Milan.”


Serie A obsessive.