A close collaborator with Walter Sabatini, Frederic Massara is Roma’s new sporting director. Always very active in the international transfer market and especially in transfers between Italy and France, we asked some agents who have sat down at the negotiating table with him to sketch out his profile.
Silvano Martina (Edin Dzeko’s Italian agent) says, “Ricky is reserved, but a very educated and decent person. He has very in-depth knowledge about footballers and speaks foreign languages perfectly. He was born capable, always very alert, attentive and punctual during negotiations. If Walter [Sabatini] used him in the past few years, then that just demonstrates how prepared and competent he is. He is perfectly aware of the dynamics of the transfer market and how transfers are carried out.”
Federico Pastorello (intermediary in the talks between Milan and Roma for El Shaarawy) adds, “He’s very well prepared and has experience in the international transfer market. He’s always been one of the most well-prepared members of Sabatini’s scounting team. I don’t know as much about him from the perspective of how he handles a group of players though, as a sporting director also has the job of managing the personal and professional relationships between the players and the coach. He’s very precise and well-educated, and that’s already an excellent starting point. Sabatini is extremely good in handling negotiations and Massara has big shoes to fill.”
Over to Giovanni Bia (agent of the Ricci brothers): “I’ve known Ricky for 20 years, we played against each other many times. He was a very good winger, a bit of a nuisance on the pitch but always very fair. He is a serious professional who always gives everything of himself. Very kind, educated and extremely well-prepared, he has all that he needs to do very well. He never allowed himself during negotiations to exceed his sphere of competence. He’s constantly attentive to every detail: he always knew which clubs could be the right places for young players to improve. He tries to make as few mistakes as possible, and he thinks for a long time before he puts his faith in someone but once he does he is 100% loyal.”
Fabrizio Ferrari (intermediary for the Italy-France market): “I always had an approach to talks with him which then went into more detail with Sabatini. Sincere, straightforward, always aware of what’s going on in the French market, he has the characteristics of the modern manager typical of this new wave of directors, among whom I would also put Mirabelli at Milan. We’re clearly talking about a big test for him, but the most difficult part of the job will be what happens on the pitch. He needs to be an intermediary on everything that goes on between the coach, the president and the squad, putting across messages clearly. He needs to direct what goes on on the pitch and to manage the squad.”
Lastly Meissa N’Diaye (William Vainqueur’s agent): “He’s a serious professional, he loves Roma and speaks a number of foreign languages. He’s direct, he doesn’t mess about with his words, he emits confidence and he’s very honest and open. He analyses player files carefully and in good time, he never makes agents wait longer than necessary, and promptly gives his approval to them. He also gives agents confidence in him, he never avoids questions about an explanation for why players aren’t part of the Roma project.”
This article is a translation – the original was written by Eleonora Trotta for Il Messaggero.