If the City Group has decided to entrust the role of Technical Area Advisor to Riccardo Bigon, there is a reason. From Napoli to Bologna, the Italian sporting director has always left his mark with shrewd markets, important players who have performed on and off the pitch. Tracked down by lesser-known team, the explosion of players chosen by Bigon often brought significant capital gains to his clubs. A job that he will now be called upon to coordinate for one of the most influential groups in world football.
The Napoli era, from Cavani to Higuain
Riccardo Bigon has arrived in Naples in 2009, a delicate moment of the De Laurentiis ownership. The club was back in Serie A in 2007 after several years in lower categories. With Bigon it was time to grow and return to the top teams. He will succeed under the guidance of Walter Mazzarri, a coach linked to Bigon for a long time (with him he also worked at Reggina).
Napoli was already doing well, but the decisive player to return to Europe came from Palermo. Uruguayan, who at that time was 23: Edinson Cavani landed in Naples in 2010 and immediately took the club and brought it back to the Champions League. After 138 and 104 goals for the Azzurri, El Matador left Napoli for PSG for €60m. Money that Bigon has invested in what will become the fundamental players of the new Napoli.
Mertens, Callejon, Reina, Albiol, Ghoulam, Koulibaly: all arrived between 2013 and 2014 and became symbols of Benitez's teams first and then Sarri. Gonzalo Higuain also has arrived with them, who will break the league goal record in Naples and then say goodbye: the 40 million invested to buy him become 90, the amount that Juventus paid for him in 2016.
Hickey, Theater and more: the players bought at Bologna
After a quick stay in Verona, Bigon has restarted from Bologna. The first big player bought was Simone Verdi, who will then leave for Napoli a few years later, allowing the club to make an important money gain. Then, in 2018/2019 Orsolini and Svanberg arrived, one of the most important player in recent seasons for Bologna before leaving for the Bundesliga.
In Bologna the most important markets arrived beetween 2019 and 2020. With the collaboration of Walter Sabatini (in rossoblù between 2019 and 2021), arrived Takehiro Tomyiasu and Aaron Hickey, who soon attracted the interest of the Premier League. The latest big player is Arthur Theate, who arrived in 2021 and left a year later for 20 million euros.
These players bought by Bigon show that he understands about talent. And he knows the transfermarket well. So much that he convinced the City Group to count on him to help grow the twelve realities currently under the control of the football group.