Guti and Zago interested in position of Director of Football?

Updated: July 17, 2014

Earlier today we had published a piece on the potential candidates to success Özen Özen as Director of Football.

Two people we had mentioned in the article, Guti Hernandez and Antonio-Carlos Zago, responded to this on Twitter today. Guti with a simple retweet of the article and Zago linked the article stating “Insallah” (Godwilling).

Both Guti and Zago have made no secret of wanting to return to Besiktas some day in the future, but could this perhaps be an indication that one of them may be making a return sooner rather than later?

Now we wouldn’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth, we respect these two gentlemen and our fellow fans (because that’s what we are ourselves) too much to do so. So perhaps it was just a simple retweet by Guti, but atleast Zago sort of expressed interest in the job by saying “Godwilling”, atleast that’s how I see it.

We already discussed in the prior article what both men would be able to bring to the table for the club but for your convenience I’ll just sum up some of my thoughts on both men’s qualifications for this job:

Antonio-Carlos Zago: As a player he enjoyed a very successfull period at our club he also played for several years at AS Roma which and he also briefly worked as an assistant coach there. He’s known well enough in the footballing world and has a good eye for talent. If it wasn’t for Zago we would never have had Bobô da Silva playing for our club and you can’t deny the simple fact that he’s been one of the most successfull foreign strikers ever at the club. As a coach he doesn’t have all that much experience, he had a couple of brief stints as a coach in Brazil and also worked as a technical director at Corinthians, but this is way back in 2009. Since then he’s been able to gather a lot of experience and pick the brains of several successfull managers. Right now he’s the assistant manager to Mircea Lucescu.
Zago does bring a certain amount of experience and influence allong with him, he’s very well known and respected in his home company but also in Turkey and Italy. He could be the perfect man to continue Önder Özen’s project of expanding our South-American scouting network.


Guti Hernandez: Every football fan in the world knows who he is, he played over 14 years for one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, and he would arguably be the perfect ‘first face’ that people would see when negotiating with our club. Everyone in the football business is a fan. So when you’re sitting across the negotiation table from someone like Guti Hernandez it definatly makes an impact and a good first impression. He is of course less experienced in the managerial duties, whilst Zago already has over 5 years experience in that area Guti has only just started it this year with Real Madrid. Not so long ago Guti made some interesting comments on Twitter. Saying Besiktas should really look in to Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell and Keylor Navas, I’m not saying he’s got eye for talent (because anyone could see those players are talented) but he clearly has the mindset of someone in a football managerial role. The main question with Guti is if he’s 100% ‘in it’, being Director of Football isn’t an easy job and it requires lot’s of personal sacrifices. Guti liked the party scene as a player, as Director of Football it’ll be one of his tasks to keep the players from partying too much (atleast indirectly).


Conclusion: Zago definatly has the advantage of having more experience and he’s already built out a bit of a network across South America. Guti definatly has the ‘name advantage’ though. He’s still a relatively recent famous footballer aswell so his name have a certain influence on young players who might want to work with him.

I personally think both men are capable of doing a successful job in this function, as long as they and the board see it as a long term project. It’s important for a football club to have stability and that starts at the managerial level. Whoever becomes the new Director of Football. Whether it be Guti, Zago, Sergen, Metin Tekin or anyone else. That person needs to be willing to sit in that chair for many years to come and put the club before anything else. (of course I’m not talking in the sense of family or anything like that, only football related stuff)

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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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