Victor Orta has arrived at Elland Road on Tuesday as Leeds United’s new director of football. Here, Lee Sobot delves into the background of the Whites’ new man.
It started at Sevilla
Spaniard Orta was on the Valladolid coaching staff before being taken on at Sevilla as part of the technical and recruitment staff in 2006 - the year the side won the UEFA Cup. Orta was promoted to the role of technical director and excelled in recruiting young talent from smaller clubs abroad. Bryan Rabello, Didier Zokora and Sébastien Squillaci were three examples.
After much success at Sevilla, Orta was wanted by both Juventus and Fiorentina. The Spaniard also turned down a big-money offer to oversee central recruitment for the Qatar league. Instead, Orta opted to join Zenit St Petersburg where he helped to recruit Brazil’s World Cup start Hulk. Orta then joined Elche in Spain before being recruited to Middlesbrough in December 2015 as head of recruitment through Boro’s network of contacts in Spain. Orta was boss Aitor Karanka’s choice.
Highly thought of
Upon joining Middlesbrough under chairman Steve Gibson and boss Karanka in December 2015, Orta came in for huge praise.
“It’s an amazing step for us because his knowledge about football - not just about Spanish football but about every place, anywhere, his knowledge is amazing,” said Karanka.
“His job for the last 13 years has been amazing - Sevilla, Zenit, last season in Elche - so we are really, really lucky that he is here with us.
“We are lucky, he is an amazing person.”
Ups and downs at Boro
Orta helped Middlesbrough to promotion to the Premier League in May 2016 but the club were then relegated one year later after finishing second bottom. Boro brought in a whole host of players under Orta’s guidance, including Victor Valdes, Brad Guzan, Antonio Barragan, Bernardo Espinosa, Gaston Ramirez, Adama Traore, Viktor Fischer, Fabio, Marten De Roon, Alvaro Negredo, Rudy Gestedes and Patrick Bamford.
Orta left his role at Middlesbrough on May 24 - two months after the exit of Karanka.
Orta is a former journalist who has worked for Marca and Sky Espana. He has also worked as a football agent and is a qualified coach.