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The Mastermind Behind Sevilla’s Unlikely Success

After a long and dreadful off-season, La Liga finally started this weekend and, as usual, it looks like it’s going to be a race between two teams: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Maybe three teams, if Atlético’s 19-year-old Portuguese wunderkind João Félix lives up to the hype. (He looks like the real deal.)

While the never-ending Neymar Jr. transfer saga continues to dominate headlines, the news that’s caught our attention this summer isn’t about the Brazilian playmaker but rather Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi, a.k.a. Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo. (Yes, in Spain, even the staff gets nicknames.)

A methodical approach to scouting and an acute understanding of the market has led Monchi and his team to an impressive run that continues to prove its worth. Since their promotion to the top division of La Liga in 2001, Sevilla has won five UEFA Europa Leagues and two Copa del Rey titles. In the same timespan, they’ve averaged sixth place in La Liga (finishing in the top five in nine out of the same 18 seasons).

A new season starts, and with it, a new opportunity for the Sevilla of Monchi to shine against their own recent legacy. For more, read the full The New York Times report about how Monchi achieves so much with so little.

Illustration by @tammyrinkwest

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