What do Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, James Rodrigeuz, Nani, David De Gea, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria, Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Queiroz have in common?
Yes, they’ve been involved in big money moves between the top clubs of Europe, but did that happen on it’s own? One man was the driving force behind this, one man who has handled some of the most lucrative deals in football history- Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes.
A failed footballer, runner of a video rental business and a DJ- Mendes’s beginnings hardly seem to indicate that he would reach the kind of position that he has reached today. Indeed, his entry into the world of football was mostly by accident. Meeting goalkeeper Nuno Espírito Santo at a bar in the Portuguese city of Guimarães, he helped broker his transfer from Vitória de Guimarães to Deportivo de La Coruña. Gradually attracting more Portuguese talent to his side, Mendes built a successful career as an agent. Part of this success can be attributed to the fact that he spent a significant amount of time at soccer schools and youth teams throughout Portugal, spotting and signing up young players, as he did with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma.