EXCLUSIVE: Watford appoint Giaretta as new Sporting Director
Written by Simon Austin — August 19, 2020
CRISTIANO GIARETTA has been appointed as Watford's new Sporting Director as the club continues to restructure following relegation to the Championship.
As TGG reported earlier today, the highly-experienced Miguel Rios has joined the club from Opta Pro, where he was Head of Football, to play a prominent role in scouting and analysis.
Now Italian Giaretta has joined from Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, where he had been Sporting Director since February 2019. Watford owners the Pozzo family know Giaretta well from his three-year spell with their other club, Udinese.
Watford’s previous Sporting Director, Frenchman Eric Roy, has left after only eight months to make way for Giaretta. He was appointed in December 2019, but his contract was only up to the end of 2019/20 season and has not been renewed.
Technical Director Filippo Giraldi, who is a long-time lieutenant for the Pozzos, remains in place. Giaretta is already in situ at the club’s training ground and working for the Hornets.
The Italian played a key role in the development of Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes during his time in Italy. When he was Sporting Director of Serie B side Novara, he signed the then 17-year-old from Portuguese club Boavista in 2012.
In a later interview, he remembered the teenager arriving as a “skinny guy with baggy jeans” and asking his Academy Manager “if this player was truly the one”.
However, Fernandes hit the ground running, playing 21 straight games and scoring four goals for the club. Then, when Giaretta joined Udinese in July 2013, he took the midfielder with him to Serie A.