Expresso rostrum: big games | The owner of Boavista came to Portugal for the 1st time: “I invested €15 million. There could be 11 Messis, but if they are all 19, 20 years old, it’s difficult”

The strategic vision of Boavista, of the I League of football, is to assume itself as a “competitive club” in Portugal to return to European competitions within “two to three years”, stressed, this Monday, the majority shareholder Gérard Lopez.

“It’s a project with ideas to play European competitions again in the not too distant future, but in a very solid way. It’s more interesting to have something built from the ground up, very well-founded and solid, not for two, three or four years, but for many more years”, explained the Hispano-Luxembourg businessman to journalists, before attending the reception of the ‘checkers’ to Belenenses SAD, in a game of the ninth round.

Gérard Lopez, 49, visited the Estádio do Bessa in Porto for the first time since acquiring 50.78% of the share capital of SAD do Boavista in July, admitting that visits to the premises of the national champion club in 2000 /01 will be more regular.

The visit takes place on the same day that Alireza’s manager, Iranian Boavista goalkeeper, denounced alleged arrears at the club. “The player’s signing bonus has not been paid, my transfer fee has not been paid and the player’s wages have not been paid. They only paid a little, something around a month’s pay, but even that came late.” criticized Farshid Karimi, to “MaisFutebol”.

“A lot of people don’t know, but the first club I saw was Boavista. [A compra] It couldn’t be done, for different reasons. When the opportunity returned, I entered. It’s a club with a very important history, fantastic fans and a phenomenal stadium. As a matter of fact, I love the city of Porto. Then, due to the importance in the football world of Portugal, which has an incredible capacity to extract talented young people annually”, he noted.

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The entry of Gérard Lopez’s group was unanimously approved by the members, at a general meeting held on October 10, 2020, at the start of a turbulent time for the ‘panthers’, who ensured their maintenance in the I League in the last round.

“When a lot of young people arrive, the first season is always complicated. There could be 11 Messis here, which, if they are all 19/20 years old, is always a bit difficult. There may be errors, but the policy must be the same. For example, Lille was French champion [em 2020/21] with many young people and others with experience, but this needs time to work”, illustrated Gérard Lopez, alluding to the phase in which he was the owner of the ‘dogues’.

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Prioritizing this mixture of irreverence with competitive maturity in building the squad, the investor admits that this strategic vision “is going much better” this season, in which the early elimination of the Portuguese Cup has been compensated with a quiet eighth place in the championship and presence in the third phase of the League Cup.

“I invested close to 15 million euros in Boavista. If we add 10 million more, maybe we will have results in the next six months, but no one can guarantee that this will be all right. The investment has to be done very intelligently and that is what we are working on. The numbers are not very important”, he defended.

Gérard Lopez ruled out the need to find an alternative to fill the summer departure of former director general Admar Lopes, with whom he continues to work at the Bordeaux French, which the Spanish-Luxembourg owner took over in June.

Along with president Vítor Murta, the investor also rejected comparing his bet on Boavista with other recent investment projects in Portuguese football clubs, whose I Liga is “very tough, strong in technical terms and has many good players”.