An Intermediary, otherwise known as an Agent, is someone who oversees professional and personal aspects of a football player’s life. These include overseeing the negotiations of transfers, contracts and sponsors to player relationships with clubs, friends, education and their own finances.
Football Agents have grown in importance and notoriety in recent years. They put in an immeasurable amount of hard work, time and commitment to ensuring the best outcome for their client is achieved and made a reality. So, when you see the Football Agent on transfer deadline day step out of his brand new Mercedes, with the swanky suit, sunglasses and brand new watch, they are a tangible outcome of the work that has gone on behind the scenes. Here, e-Careers lists 10 Football Agents you may know of.
1. Kia Joorabchian
The man who became famous for engineering one of the most bizarre transfer stories of the modern era. Joorabchian was President of Media Sports Investments (MSI), stepping down in June 2006. A Premier League investigation ruled that four companies held rights to both Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Joorabchian represented all, engineering the Argentinian pairing’s transfers to West Ham.
In 2009, investors represented by Joorabchian owned the economic rights to 60 to 70 players across Europe and South America.
2. Jorge Mendes
Mendes is one of football’s most well-known names off the pitch and outside the dugout. Coined as the world’s first “super-agent”, he is one of the most influential football agents in the world. His clients include Cristiano Ronaldo, David De Gea, Diego Costa and Jose Mourinho.
He won Best Agent of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards five consecutive times between 2010 and 2014. In 2014, he brokered four of the seven biggest deals including James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, Diego Costa and Eliaquim Mangala. He pocketed himself a cool estimated pay packet of £30 million.
3. Fernando Felicevich
Alexis Sanchez and the will he, won’t he story of whether he would leave Arsenal dominated the summer 2017 transfer window. His agent is Felicevich, who is the agent for much of the talent in the Chile national team.
His other clients include Claudio Bravo, Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel. He oversaw the transfers of Sanchez to Arsenal (and out), Bravo to Manchester City and Vidal to Bayern Munich.
4. Jonathan Barnett
Barnett was the mastermind behind the former world record £86 million transfer of Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid, which earned the agent a reported £14million. He is the Chairman of the Stellar Group and another one of the famed “super-agent” club, with around 500 clients which are not limited to football.
He took part in the controversial move of Ashley Cole from Arsenal to Chelsea in 2006. His most notable current clients include Joe Hart and Luke Shaw to name a couple.
5. Pere Guardiola
It helps when your brother is a footballing legend and one of the best coaches in the world. Pere is making himself as much of a name outside of the limelight as his brother, Manchester City boss Pep, is making for himself in the dugout.
Pere engineered the purchase of Catalan side Girona, with his company Media Base owning almost 50% along with Manchester City. His most famous client is Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, who he helped move to the Spanish giants from former club Liverpool.
6. Mino Raiola
Another former record holder. Raiola closed the deal which saw Paul Pogba return to Manchester United for a then world record fee of £89million. Raiola earned a reported £22 million from the transfer, using a sizeable chunk of it to buy the Miami villa of Al Capone.
His first high-profile client was Pavel Nedved. He now represents notable world stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku. His influence in the red half of Manchester is evident!
7. Volker Struth
Struth has become the go-to agent in the Bundesliga. A major player in the SportsTotal agency, he negotiated almost $300 million worth of contract between active footballers and clubs, earning commission of nearly $35 million.
His most notable clients are German internationals Toni Kroos, Marco Reus and scorer of the winning goal of the 2014 World Cup, Mario Gotze.
8. Paul Stretford
Founder of Proactive Sports Management (later renamed Formation Group), Stretford became the intermediary of ex-England international Wayne Rooney. He received £1.5million as part of the fee which saw Rooney move from Everton to Manchester United. This amount was the biggest payment ever received by an English-based agent at the time.
Stretford also negotiated Andrew Cole’s £7million transfer from Newcastle United to Manchester United, which was the record British transfer fee.
9. Jerome Anderson
Part of Sport Entertainment and Media Group, Anderson was the first agent to introduce big foreign names into the Premier League, changing the face of the league forever. He has represented over 200 professional footballers, including nine of Arsenal’s 1989 title-winning team.
Other notable names that Anderson has represented include Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and Thierry Henry.
10. Pini Zahavi
Zahavi is best known for his involvement in Roman Abramovich’s purchase of Chelsea in 2003. It’s estimated he earned £5million from the £111million Chelsea spent on players in their initial title chasing splurge.
Zahavi also handled the transfers in the early stages of Rio Ferdinand’s career. First, the one that took London born Ferdinand from West Ham to Leeds for £18million in 2000. Then his £30 million transfer from Leeds to Manchester United two years later.
e-Careers have given you the opportunity to enter this lucrative industry. The Football Intermediary Certificate has been developed with 30+ years experience from industry expert and Football Agent, John Viola. John has handled the transfers and commercial deals of some of the biggest names in football, including Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos and Christian Karembeu, so his knowledge is invaluable for anyone looking to learn how to become a Football Agent and break into the industry. Find out more here.