He had left Italy in tears: now Modesto returns from Greece, to help Monza grow

In 2004, when he left Cagliari after promotion to Serie A with Reja as coach, he cried for two days. He comes from Olympiacos who since 2016 he has helped to better manage with various capital gains

The market cupid, if there is one, hit him in the chest in a hotel in Monte Carlo almost twenty years ago. Summer 2003, François Modesto plays for Cagliari and is one of the most representative, a protégé of Cellino and the fans. Central with good technique, the four championships played in Sardinia attract the attention of the great teams. Among these the Monaco of Didier Deschamps, future Champions finalist, eager to bring a player of depth to Louis II.


Modesto, Corsican from Bastia, a true Frenchman on the hunt for his national team debut, flies to the Principality and stays in a hotel for ten days awaiting the signing. He reflects, thinks, struggles, imagines a future far from Italy. There he realizes that the market is a nice ride, that perhaps he likes it, and even if in the end he declines the offer for love of Cagliari, he understands that that world can become his between him for ten years, at the end of his career. Winning choice. After having worked well at Olympiacos and helping to bring Nottingham Forest back to the Premier League, Modesto is about to become the new transfer man of Galliani and Berlusconi’s Monza. He who played only one season in Serie A, 1999/2000, skipping both matches against the two authentic Rossoneri, now his bosses. François was 22 years old and came from Bastia. Cellino had noticed this in a friendly match played in winter in Sardinia: “In the stands there were the Rossoblu leaders looking for new talents. They discovered me like this, then the president changed my life ”. Berlusconi is ready to overturn it further.


Modesto is 43 years old and has been working with Olympiacos since 2016. First as a sports director, then as head of the scouting area. History and CV tell us that he has always intrigued presidents. First Cellino, with whom he still feels, then Evangelos Marinakis, patron of the Greeks and Nottingham. The first to take him aside and tell him to build a serious team. “The first day he told me to show him what I could do.” He did it. Under his management Olympiacos has valued and sold several players for gold: the first is Daniel Podence, taken for 7 million from Sporting and sold for 20 to Wolverhampton. François called it “a halfway shot between luck and determination”. Reserved, silent, those who know him know that he can answer you at 4 in the morning because his phone is always on. He believes in talent and young people: in 2018 he focused on Kostas Tsimikas, a left-back also sought by Napoli, then sold him to Liverpool for 13 million. Finally Panagiotis Retsos, today at Verona, another golden gain: grown in the Piraeus nursery, in 2017 Leverkusen took it for 18 million.


In his career he has touched 600 games. He played with Bastia, Cagliari, Monaco and Olympiacos, with whom he won three championships and two cups. For some years he has also been working with Nottingham Forest, who returned to the Premier League via the playoffs after 29 years. Here are some insights too: Brennan Johnson, twenty years old, playmaker, 16 goals and 9 assists. Bet won like Matty Cash, born in 1997, right winger transformed into full-back and sold to Aston Villa for 15 million. Today he plays in the Premier League and with Poland. The Modesto method is simple: little chatter and many ideas, combined with love for Italy. In 2004, when he left Cagliari after promotion to Serie A with Reja as coach, he cried for two days. “Greeting Sardinia was really hard”. Destiny gave him another chance.

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