An online network offering a second chance to sidelined footballers

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Fieldoo, a website created by Slovenian Klemen Hosta, aims to give independent footballers the chance to land tryouts at clubs around the world

“If I say my name is Klemen Hosta, no door opens. Luis Figo can enter anywhere.” But Hosta, founder and CEO of Fieldoo, the world’s largest online football network, is a man worth listening to.

The Slovenian, who worked for a telecommunications company in Ljubljana five years ago, is tasked with helping disenfranchised footballers around the world secure contracts with professional clubs. Beginning by uploading videos of her friends to Youtube, often up to 50 a day, Hosta spotted a gap in a saturated market.

“Let’s say [top] clubs each release 100 guys a year between the ages of 19 and 21, “he says Goal. “Probably 20 guys will be picked by other Premier League or League One clubs. But you have 80 guys who are educated in one of the best academies in the world. They can easily play in the Swiss Premier League, they just need one shot to go to trial. So I went through Switzerland, Austria and Hungary, you have respectable clubs there, Europa League clubs, they would like to have guys like that on trial so that’s what we’re really trying to do. “

Hosta has certainly worked with less privileged players. Despite brokerage agreements with top clubs across Europe, he considers the story of a former Boca Juniors youngster to be his greatest achievement.

“The first challenge we did was with Josip Maria Minguella, the guy who discovered Lionel Messi. He said:“ The winner of the challenge on Fieldoo will sign an exclusive contract with me and then he will get him a club. ”The winner was a fourth division guy in Argentina, he was a former Boca Juniors academy player, living in southern Argentina, God knows where.

“His father pissed him off, saying, ‘Stop football, start working, you’re not good at football’. He won the competition and we took him to Spain where he signed with Girona and he won. played the Copa del Rey, played a couple of league games, and now he’s in the Italian third division. He’s a leading player, a top scorer, 23 years old and he will probably move up to the second division, but we have changed his life. There were several transfers to the Premier League, but this is my favorite case. “

It had been going on for three years now, but the goal has not changed: “Believe it or not, we still try to be good sportsmen. We try to help people, the players, really.”

But Hosta repeatedly refers to the “problems” of the industry. Mainly, it’s the fact that thousands of footballers don’t have agents, or know how to get one. This, however, creates greater problems.

“One of the main problems is corruption in the football industry,” Hosta said. “Young players get exploited and I’m not just talking about, say, slave contracts, but people are actually extracting money from these players. The agents drag them all over the world and then they leave them there. down, taking their passports, unbelievable what’s going on.

“You have bodybuilders who are going to take a third division player and take him to another fourth division club, for 500 euros in profit for him, and then leave the player there. That’s what I despise. , they normally take 10-20% of their monthly salary. “

Hosta is working to change that. Its service began as a way for talented players to get a tryout directly at a club, but now also serves as a marketplace where they can connect with a verified agent.

“It is our general mission to bring transparency to the world of football,” he adds. “There is a big problem in the industry and on the web. It is very easy to rip someone off. The greatest amount of career traffic happens on LinkedIn and 30% of the profiles are fake there, even more when it comes to football agents.

“I can tell you in all honesty, on Fieldoo we are 100% credible and all agents are verified, so we offer a money back guarantee if players get ripped off on the Fieldoo platform. agents so we know who’s behind them We verify their accounts, their licenses If an agent has a green check mark next to their name, it means they are verified.

While Hosta can seem overly optimistic at times, he is definitely not blind to obstacles in his path, nor is he afraid to face them head-on. He says he has spoken to FIFA about agent power and is verifying the name of a Serie A powerhouse where he claims coaches sell young players for personal gain: “They have 400 players and nobody don’t even notice it. “

While there are characters in the game willing to harness young talent, Hosta spotted a much more positive window of opportunity. “I love what I do, I love football, Fieldoo really works, that’s what we’re most proud of. We have a lot of competition.”

That’s where Figo comes in: the ex-Barcelona and Real Madrid star is the figurehead of Fieldoo’s biggest competitor, Network90. But it is Hosta, the former account manager of Telekom Slovenije, who opens the doors to footballers from all over the world.


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