Osijek Appoints Portuguese Sports Director José Boto

Daniela Rogulj

Photo by Slobodan Kadic

January 12, 2024 – NK Osijek officially introduced Jose Boto as its new sports director, a Portuguese scouting expert with an impressive resume.

Boto worked for eight years at Benfica as the head of scouting and took on the same position at Shakhtar Donetsk. His last engagement was at the Greek club PAOK, where he stayed from 2021 to 2023.

While he was head of scouting at Benfica, he discovered players such as Angel Di Maria (sold to Real Madrid for €35 million), Axel Witsel (sold to Zenit for €40 million), Nemanja Matić (sold to Chelsea for €25 million), David Luiz (sold to Chelsea for €25 million), Jan Oblak (sold to Atletico Madrid for €16 million), and Ederson (sold to Manchester City for €40 million).

NK Osijek presented Boto at an official press conference on Thursday. Journalists were interested in whether he plans to bring in foreign players:

“After all the analysis, we will see which foreign players can best adapt to our league. We will see with the coaches. We don’t know if the market will be in Latin America or Scandinavia. Our focus is currently on Croatia.”

He then spoke about his goals with the club:

“Every club in the world wants to win. The problem is that many clubs don’t know how to do it. They don’t have the right path towards winning. When I spoke to the president, I really liked what he asked me to do. He doesn’t want to win the Champions League; he didn’t ask me for it. He wants to develop the club. These club premises, this stadium. The president persuaded me to come here.

We don’t have to win tomorrow; we can, but we can’t work like this anymore. We’re not going to spend a lot of money. Sometimes, that’s not how you win. We have to create a new base and strategy and take advantage of this market and the available resources. We want Osijek to become the biggest football academy in Croatia. I want to create a vision that other people will be able to continue in Osijek. That will be Osijek’s strength.”

He was asked if he would immediately start bringing in new players:

“I know this team; I’ve watched a lot of games, but I don’t have enough knowledge to talk about the pros and cons. I need time. I can rush in and buy various players. But I won’t be that person. I don’t know the league one hundred percent yet. Maybe someone plays well but won’t adapt in this league.”

Osijek is currently in 4th place in the HNL standings with 27 points, behind Dinamo in 3rd, Rijeka in 2nd, and Hajduk in 1st.

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