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Piet de Visser (football manager)

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Title: Piet de Visser (football manager)  
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Subject: AZ Alkmaar, Sparta Rotterdam, ADO Den Haag, NAC Breda, Scout (sport), José Mourinho, N.E.C. (football club), Roda JC Kerkrade, Willem II (football club), SC Telstar
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Piet de Visser (football manager)

Piet de Visser
NAC Breda
Template:Infobox medal templates

Piet de Visser (born September 23, 1934 in Oost-Souburg, Zeeland) is a Dutch football manager and scout. He is best known for scouting players like Romário and Ronaldo and successfully bringing them to Europe.[1] He is currently a personal adviser to Roman Abramovich, the owner of the English club Chelsea F.C.[2] For the 2010 FIFA World Cup, de Visser has been an analyst for Dutch television, mainly covering the African teams.



After a career as a player for De Zeeuwen, RCH and Zeeland Sport, De Visser became involved in management. In 1957 he started as a youth and assistant manager at Sparta.[3]

In 1964 he took his first assignment as a head manager at DFC and became champion of the second division in his first year. In 1973, while manager of De Graafschap, he and his club (which included defender Guus Hiddink) were promoted to the Eredivisie.[3] He subsequently became champion of the Eerste Divisie with NEC in 1975, and moved to the R.W.D. Molenbeek which had won the Belgian League the preceding season.[3]

He ended his management career in 1993, while at NAC Breda, due to heart problems.[4] He has since struggled with his health, beating cancer and undergoing five bypass surgeries.[2][5] During his career, De Visser managed Sparta, DFC, Telstar, De Graafschap, NEC, R.W.D. Molenbeek, FC Den Haag, Roda JC, AZ Alkmaar, Willem II and NAC Breda.[1][4]


After his career as a manager, De Visser became scout at PSV. While at PSV he was responsible for scouting players like Romário, Ronaldo, Alex, Farfán, Gomes, and Dzsudzsák for the club.[1][6][7] He even scouted Adriano but PSV coach Erik Gerets was not interested in signing the Brazilian.[6]

Chelsea / Roman Abramovich

Since 2005 De Visser also scouts for Chelsea F.C., and is considered a close personal adviser on transfers to Roman Abramovich.[2] In one of his first scouting assignments for Chelsea, De Visser was responsible for the transfer of Arjen Robben from PSV to Chelsea.[8] Guus Hiddink, who played under De Visser at De Graafschap, and who worked with him at PSV, was recommended to Abramovich (who paid Hiddink's wages) for the position of manager of the Russia national football team.[2] De Visser also recommended the hiring of Frank Arnesen to Abramovich, a move which was opposed by Jose Mourinho.[9] It was De Visser who first recommended the signing of Mikel John Obi and Salomon Kalou to Frank Arnesen for Chelsea.[5][10] De Visser and Arnesen have since clashed with Mourinho over transfer policy, with the two allegedly recommending Alex be brought over from PSV to solve the club's defensive problems. Mourinho is said to have preferred Khalid Boulahrouz instead.[9]

De Visser has also been instrumental in assisting Abramovich in setting up a youth academy at Chelsea, modelled on the academy at PSV. According to De Visser, "Mr Abramovich is fed up that he has to keep paying millions and millions for big star players. He had to pay an absolute fortune to get players like Didier Drogba and Michael Essien. This is why he has asked me as a private scout to look out for top class young players who will be the Chelsea stars in three years time."[11]

De Visser was also instrumental in the firing of Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and the installment of Guus Hiddink.[12] According to De Visser he alerted Roman Abramovich of Scolari's lacklustre training methods: "I had to watch training sessions he was giving to the squad. I died of shock. It was so weak, his training sessions lacked every kind of sharpness. It made the entire squad lack sharpness in matches. I did not need a lot of time to conclude things were really bad with Chelsea."[12]


De Visser won numerous championships at various clubs as a manager. In 2005, he received the prestigious Rinus Michels Award for his entire oeuvre.[3] The award is named after Rinus Michels, who was named coach of the century by FIFA in 1999.[13]

Criticism of manipulative agents

De Visser has been openly critical of what he perceives as the manipulation of young players by player agents. He has said: "I want the player to get a good contract, and also that the football association and the club where the boy comes from gets a decent compensation. I would like to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and shout across the continent 'Boys watch out for shady agents!'"[7]


Preceded by
Kees Rijvers
Rinus Michels oeuvre award
Succeeded by
Wiel Coerver
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