This week, France discovered a new player in the world of football: billionaire John Textor. The American businessman recently became the majority shareholder of Olympique Lyonnais. A historic moment for a club held by the emblematic Jean-Michel Aulas since 1987. Present in front of the French media last Tuesday, Textor displayed great ambitions for Les Gones. However, OL will not be his only concern in the coming months. The American is indeed the boss of another team: Botafogo. Just after his presentation press conference in Lyon, Textor flew to Brazil. There, the American, also present in the capital of the English club Crystal Palace up to 40%, has toured the media to explain his plan for the carioca formation. By Sunday and the derby against Fluminense, he also has a very busy schedule in terms of meetings and interviews.
And the first media announcement was significant since it concerns the transfer window. Textor confirmed that he tried it with Edinson Cavani and that he would like to recruit James Rodriguez, exiled today in Qatar (Al Rayyan). “Cavani’s story was true, James… He told me he was looking for a new challenge. We talked, I hope I can convince you. (…) I love it. My kids grew up watching the Colombian national team and he was one of their favorite players. It’s rare to have the possibility of being able to recruit such a talent in South America, I think he still has good years to play in Europe. But we have big dreams, we are going through a period of transformation in Brazil with the new League. It might be a long record, but he would be a player who would transform everything for us, so we will try.he told Selecão SportTV.
James, Zahavi and a new stadium
Eager to strengthen his team in a very significant way, John Textor is also targeting Israeli striker Eran Zahavi (34), who has played for PSV for the past two seasons (22 goals in 50 Eredivisie matches). An 18-month contract was even offered to the player. However, when discussing all these targets, Textor gave a hell of a rant. The reason ? Last week, the Botafogo training center was invaded by “supporters”, requiring the forceful intervention of the police. An event synonymous with very bad publicity for the club at the time of the transfer window. “The player who could come before can no longer come because of this. You (the fans) have the right to show your shame, but does it win your team? Does it make your team perform better in the second half? In the stadium, I ask the fans to support our players and think about how they can help these players. » Finally, if he already has the formidable tool that is the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, John Textor confided that he would like to build a new enclosure for Botafogo.
Currently, the club plays at the Nilton-Santos Olympic Stadium (about 47,000 seats). A den exceeded according to him because… of the athletics track. “A stadium built around an Olympic track is not a football stadium. Take the example of Crystal Palace. Selhurst Park is small, not impressive, but the fans are on top of each other. Energy is the way to feel connected, the entertainment experience for fans, and that’s what we want for Botafogo. This cannot be done at Nilton-Santos, the cost would be too high. I would like to maintain the social link with the club. And that here in Brazil is sensational. It’s not just football, but it has to do with everything, volleyball, connecting with the community. I would like to have a stadium, a gymnasium, social and community facilities, all creating an energy that drives our team forward. This will create a high performing team. I don’t think we can achieve that at Nilton-Santos. This is my main objective. » Definitely, just with OL and Botafogo, John Textor will have a very busy schedule!