Bengaluru, Aug 5: Football agents play an equally significant role as the players in the football world these days.
The agents are present at every step - from increasing publicity, earning big-money moves or simply negotiating. They do all the work for their clients to ensure better future for their players. However, their involvement also mean they earn a cut deal from every transfer or contract renewal their players make.
For example, during the summer of 2013, Neymar's father made a staggering €50 million when he arrived in Barcelona from Santos. The same happened when Paul Pogba moved from Juventus to Manchester United.
Here we take a look at five of the best football agents in the world.
1) Jorge Mendes
The Portuguese agent is arguably one of the most influential agents of World football. Mendes started gaining fame by managing Portuguese players earlier in his career. But now he has slowly extended his contract all over Europe. He is responsible for most of the elite football talents that comes and leaves the country. If there are some big contracts needed to be done with Portuguese superstars, Mendes is always the preferred agent.
Key clients: Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, David De Gea, Diego Costa, Thiago Silva, Radamel Falcao and Jose Mourinho.
2) Mino Raiola
The Italian-born Dutchman started his trade in the late 1990s and first made the headlines by working with Nedved and securing a big deal to Juventus. He again came to limelight when he roped in Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he was in Ajax. He was the chief architect behind Zlatan's move from Ajax to Juventus and then to Barcelona, Inter, PSG, and United.
In 2016, he closed the-then world record transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Man United for £89.3m. He was reported to have made £23m only for engineering that deal.
Key clients: Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli, Blaise Matuidi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti.
3) Jonathan Barnett
Jonathan Barnett serves a wide array of athletes starting from football to boxing. He represents famous British-Canadian boxing legend, Lennox Lewis. Like the other football agents, the veteran agent isn't in the spotlight, but, remains as a silent preacher in the agent industry. His biggest transfer till date is Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid while he also engineered Luke Shaw's move to Manchester United.
Key clients: Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Pickford, and Wojciech Szczesny.
4) Pere Guardiola
Just like his brother Pep Guardiola, the Spanish agent too has made a name of himself albeit in the market. Pere owns 55 per cent of Media Base Sports, with agent Jaume Roures responsible for the other 45.
As part of the Media Base Sports brand, Pere Guardiola represents the likes of Luis Suarez, William Carvalho while also handling his brother's contracts too. The company also scouts and represents many academy players at some of the world's biggest clubs.
Key Clients: Pep Guardiola, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Thiago Alcantara, Hector Bellerin, Junior Firpo
5) Jose Otin
For Spanish players over in La Liga, Jose Otin is one of the biggest names in the business. Jose Otin's Bahia Internacional group has helped broker some of the bigger deals involving players from the Spain squad that won the 2010 World Cup.
Fernando Torres' British record move to Chelsea, Javi Martinez's move to Bayern Munich, and Torres' move to Atletico Madrid were some of his big-money dealings in the past while most recently engineered Kepa Arrizabalaga's world-record move to Chelsea.
Key Clients: Asier Illaramendi, Raul Garcia, Jesus Navas, Nacho Monreal, Javi Martinez, Pedro, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Dani Ceballos, Vitolo