BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALLPiet de Visser, 84, has dedicated his life to football, and he’s also got the ear of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. After a successful career as a player and manager in Holland, de Visser was forced to retire early due to heart problems.
But the Dutchman’s ill-health could not thwart his involvement in the game, as he quickly turned his eye to scouting the best young talent throughout the world. Russian billionaire Abramovich was so impressed with his ability to unearth players he hired de Visser as his personal scout.
The first two big players Piet de Visser discovered were Romario and Ronaldo, who were soon signed by PSV. During his professional scouting adventure at PSV, de Visser also was influential in the signings of Brazilian defender Alex, forward Jefferson Farfán and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.Moreover, during his early playing days at second division Dutch club FC Den Bosch, a 17-year-old Ruud van Nistelrooy caught de Visser’s eye. However at the time, Ronaldo was leading PSV’s front line, so when de Visser first presented them with van Nistelrooy, the club didn’t feel the need to sign him.
The Dutch goal machine had to wait his turn and it wasn’t until Ronaldo left to join Spanish giants, Barcelona, that van Nistelrooy could eventually follow in his footsteps. “I scouted him and I brought him to PSV. But at first, they did not want him”, de Visser revealed in an interview.His ability in spotting a player’s potential has meant Piet has been a player adviser for Chelsea for over the last decade. In fact, the likes of Robben, Alex, Courtois, De Bruyne, Lukaku may not have graced West London if it wasn’t for the valued scout. Piet de Visser: the big stars superscout.