After an MBA in economics, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi joined the Al-Jazeera chain in 2003 and founded a sports branch there with two French people, where he led the acquisitions of rights. Nasser seduces and accumulates. He became managing director of BeIN Sports (in English) in 2006, then took the head of PSG in 2011, when the club was bought by the Qatar sovereign fund dedicated to sport (QSI) which he also directs. “It’s something typical in Qatar, very good Qatari managers tend to have a lot of big files to manage,” summed up a source at AFP.
His rise owes a lot to his proximity to the son of the emir. When the latter took the head of Qatar, in 2013, he appointed his friend Minister ” Qatar”. The function does not foresee a precise role, but it is experienced as “an honor” by the person concerned. The two continue to spend “a lot of time together,” added a source to AFP. Despite the ongoing investigation, the emir maintains his full confidence, according to Le Parisien .
A discreet “Robocop” in the media
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is a workaholic, according to those who work with him or have known him. “He responds to all messages, and very quickly,” recalls the former club president, Alain Cayzac, quoted by Capital. “He is not a boastful guy. He is a discreet guy, but one who works”, summarizes Gervais Martel, in a survey by L’Equipe devoted to the influential president of PSG. “It’s big level.” This is a workforce that earned him the nickname “Robocop”.
On the other hand, the bionic president is rather discreet in the media. Several personalities in the shadows make up his bodyguard: Sophie Jordan (general manager of BeIN), Youssef Al-Obaidly (president of BeIN Sport) and Jean-Martial Ribes (communications director of PSG). All watch over the grain to control the image of PSG. The president of the club has so far avoided going off the track, except for a protrusion against refereeing – “We must also develop refereeing, because really, it’s a nightmare” – or financial fair play, its black beast – “Relax and take care of your project.”
A game of balls to break the ice
Too smooth a president? As the club moves, he sometimes allows himself some “extras”. In April 2016, he borrowed balls from a restaurant in Lomener (Morbihan) to play a game of pétanque with his staff. “I did well [to lend them], will congratulate the butler of the Vivier, quoted by 20 Minutes. [He] insisted on knowing my name, and he returned my balls to me with a small gift: a David Luiz jersey. “That day, an enlightened amateur even found it” particularly to the point. You can visit https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/who-is-the-psg-chairman-nasser-al-khelaifis-net-worth-qatar/1qceaqzo6n54t1wuvs1nt0xbg1 for a complete briefing about him.
The boss of PSG knows how to be generous. In 2011, he visited Eric Abidal, hospitalized for a liver tumor. “He came to Barcelona, entered my room and began to pray in front of me, remembers the player, in the columns of the Catalan daily Sport . He said many nice words to me and it is this image very strong that struck me and that I remember. “On occasion, the Parisian president can satisfy original requests. When Javier Pastore’s agent informs him that an Argentine family is stranded in Qatar, after his tickets were canceled during the Arab-Persian conflict in August 2017, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi provides him with seats on a Doha- Buenos Aires, aboard a Qatari company.
Memorable blood strokes
“Facing Nasser, you have to be on your guard, explained a businessman to Challenges. If you criticize, he takes note without saying anything, he remains a gentleman, but he cuts off all contact.” Behind the scenes, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has nothing to do with a Care Bears. He is indeed known for his blood strokes. After incidents at Trocadéro, in 2013, during the title of champion of France of PSG, the deputy director general of the club “Jean-Claude Blanc took dear”, reports Damien Degorre, journalist for L’Equipe.
In February 2016, after the broadcast of a video in which he insulted his coach Laurent Blanc, player Serge Aurier was forced to shoot a video of apologies, but he took the exercise little seriously. President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi then gets angry with the defender and knocks violently on a door, reports France Football: “You will stay five hours if necessary but you will do what you are asked!” He also did not appreciate that Hatem Ben Arfa directly questioned the Emir of Qatar on his personal situation, at the Camp des Loges. The player is now languishing on the reserve team.