Jorge Mendes

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Jorge Paulo Agostinho Mendes (born 7 January 1966 in Lisbon), better known simply as Jorge Mendes, is a Portuguese football agent. He is registered with the football association of Portugal[1] and heads the GestiFute company, founded in 1996.[2] Mendes is among the most influential football agents in the world, with clients including Yacine Brahimi, José Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlos Queiroz, Simão Sabrosa, Anderson, Fábio Coentrão, Pepe, Ángel Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Radamel Falcao García, Ricardo Carvalho, Nani, Ricardo Quaresma, Burak Yılmaz, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez, David de Gea and Víctor Valdés.[3]

Mendes is often referred to as a "super-agent".[3][4][5] He is a controversial figure who has been accused of breaching FIFA regulations regarding third party ownership, having excessive influence in club affairs (especially in his native Portugal), corruption and conflict of interest in player representation.[6][7]

At the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai,[when?] Mendes' clients did well as Falcao won Player of the Year and Atletico Madrid won Team of the Year and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was named Coach of the Year. Mendes received a third consecutive Agent of the Year honor. [8]

Early career[edit]

Mendes began as a footballer but was forced to abandon his hopes of a professional career after being rejected by a number of Portuguese clubs when he was in his early 20s.[9] Instead he ran a video rental store, worked as a DJ and opened a bar and nightclub in Caminha.[9][10]

Career as an agent[edit]

First deals[edit]

Mendes's first deal as a football agent came in 1996 when he brokered Nuno's move from Vitória de Guimarães to Deportivo de La Coruña. He had met the goalkeeper in a bar in Guimarães.[9] After that deal, Mendes gradually attracted more Portuguese players, including Jorge Andrade. Hugo Viana's move from Sporting CP to Newcastle United in the Premier League for around €12 million in 2002 was his first major international transfer.[9][11] Part of Mendes's success was based on his constant presence at soccer schools and youth teams throughout Portugal, spotting and signing up young players, as he did with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma.[12]

It has been reported that Mendes came to physical blows at the Portela Airport in Lisbon with Luís Figo's agent, José Veiga, whose influence he was gradually supplanting at this time.[10]

Mourinho[edit]

Mourinho and Chelsea[edit]

In 2004, Mendes brokered José Mourinho's move from FC Porto to manage Chelsea, despite Mourinho already having an agent, José Baidek, whom Mourinho had known since his time at União de Leiria and who had reportedly lined up a move to Liverpool.[12] Mourinho and Mendes negotiated with the agent Pini Zahavi, who acted as Chelsea's representative.[13]

The deal established Mendes's importance. He built up a roster of the leading Portuguese players and every Portuguese player that followed Mourinho to Chelsea was a client of Mendes, including Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Tiago, and Maniche.[12] Mendes was paid by Chelsea to act for the player and for the club.[14]

GestiFute was also involved in part-owning the economic rights of a number of these players. In July 2003, FC Porto bought 20 per cent of Deco's rights from GestiFute in exchange for €2.25 million, plus 5 per cent of the economic rights for Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira. Shortly afterwards, GestiFute sold a further 15 per cent of Deco's economic rights to the club, this time in return for €1.25 million and 10 per cent of the striker Benni McCarthy.[15]

Dispute with Formation[edit]

A legal case that in January 2011 was proceeding through the Portuguese courts indicates that Gestifute was for a time associated with the Formation football agency, at that time run by Wayne Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford. Formation brought a claim against Gestifute for breaching an agreement it claimed the two agencies had reached to promote Gestifute's Portuguese players in England in return for an equal share of the fees when a transfer was completed.

According to the Guardian newspaper's reporting of the documents in the case, Formation claimed that the two agencies signed a written agreement in May 2003 and shared the agents' fees on the 2002 transfer of Hugo Viana to Newcastle and those on Nuno Capucho's move to Glasgow Rangers in 2003. Formation asserted that Mendes then shared only part of the fee he was paid when Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 and that their relationship broke down after Mourinho's move to Chelsea. Formation claimed that they had received nothing from the transfers of Carvalho, Tiago and Ferreira to the London club for a combined £41 million in 2004. In response, Gestifute claimed that they had received nothing for those transfers and that the €2.9 million of fees had instead been paid to Gestifute International Limited, a company registered in Ireland.[14][16] Those fees included €2.45 million in payment for a number of services, including looking after the player's wellbeing and ensuring that the player "timeously [sic] attends training and matches".[14] Gestifute said that they were "very confident that the court will decide in our favour".[16]

After Chelsea[edit]

After Mourinho's departure from Chelsea in September 2007,[17] Mendes oversaw his move to Inter Milan in 2008, for a fee that made him the highest paid coach in the world,[9] and then, in May 2010, that which saw him move from Inter to become Real Madrid's manager on a four-year contract worth £40 million.[18][19]

In 2008 Mendes also handled the deal that took the manager Luiz Felipe Scolari to Chelsea, negotiating a three-year contract worth between £5.5 million and £6.25 million.[12] At that summer's European Championships Mendes had been allowed privileged access to the Portuguese team hotel by Scolari who was then managing the national side.[12]

Manchester United[edit]

Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson[edit]

Mendes oversaw the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United for £12.24 million in 2003 and in 2007 those of Anderson and Nani to the same club for £46 million. The Nani transfer reportedly followed only once the player had dropped his existing agent, Ana Almeida.[10][12] That summer, Mendes was also responsible for the transfers of Pepe to Real Madrid for £25 million and Simão to Atlético Madrid for £16.5 million.[12]

Mendes's association with Anderson reflected the connections he established in South America, in which he worked closely with Pini Zahavi.[9] Part of the deal that took Anderson to Manchester United saw his previous club FC Porto pay Mendes a reported £4 million for his share of Anderson's registration. Mendes was said to have contributed 20 per cent of the £3.75 million Porto paid Grêmio in Brazil to sign the midfielder in 2006.[20]

In 2009, Mendes was reported to have made £4 million from Ronaldo's £80 million transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid.[9]

Bébé Transfer[edit]

In August 2010, the football agent Gonçalo Reis complained that he had been left on the sidelines when Bébé, a player he represented, was transferred to Manchester United from Vitória de Guimarães in the Portuguese first division. "When Mendes arrived," he said, "I was out of the transaction."[21] In July 2010 Reis arranged Bébé's move to Vitória as a free agent from Estrela da Amadora in the semi-professional Portuguese third division after the cancellation of the player's contract due to the club's inability to pay his wages. Manchester United signed Bébé for a reported fee of £7.4 million five weeks later when he had played just six pre-season friendlies for Vitória. Reis received notification that he had been sacked by Bébé in a letter dated 5 August that arrived two days before the completion of the Manchester United transfer on 11 August.[21][22][23] Reis officially took his complaints to Fifa in May 2012.[23]

At Vitória's subsequent general meeting the club's directors revealed that Mendes had received €3.6 million of the €9 million fee from the Bébé transfer, with reports in Portugal suggesting that €2.7 million of that sum came from the 30 per cent of the player's economic rights initially retained by Bébé when he moved to Vitória but bought from the player by Mendes for €100,000.[22][24][25] Emilio Macedo, the President of the Guimarães club, called Mendes, "The bulwark of this transfer" and defended the agent, saying: "With all due respect to other agents, this country owes him a lot because he handles large transfers and brings money into the country because this is like an export."[21] The transfer was subsequently investigated by the Portuguese police.[22][23]

Manchester United's manager, Alex Ferguson, admitted that he had not seen Bébé play before signing the player.[26] He had reportedly been recommended to the club by Carlos Queiroz, who had two spells as assistant manager at Manchester United and who at that time was coach of the Portuguese national side.[22] Queiroz's relationship with United had been important in the transfers of Anderson and Nani in 2007; he is also represented by Mendes.[22]

2014 Summer Transfer Window[edit]

Mendes brokered four of the seven biggest deals worldwide during the 2014 summer transfer window from which he earned an estimated £30 million. Colombia's James Rodriguez moved to Real Madrid from Monaco for £63 million, Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid to Manchester United for £60 million; Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea for £32 million and Eliaquim Mangala from F.C Porto to Manchester City for £32 million.[27]

Third party ownership accusations[edit]

On 22 September 2014, an investigation by the The Guardian implicated Jorge Mendes alongside ex Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon in breaching FIFA regulations regarding third party ownership and conflict of interest in player representation, buying player rights through companies based in Jersey and Ireland.[28] This followed another report published in January 2014 suggesting Kenyon's ex-club Chelsea have invested in third party ownership via Mendes and Kenyon, a practice banned by the Premier League. Chelsea declined to comment on the accusations.[29] On 23 September 2014, UEFA announced their intention to crack down on the practice of 3rd party ownership.[30]

Gestifute and CAA[edit]

In 2008, GestiFute announced that it had entered into partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in the United States to "create global opportunities for current and future clients" as part of the CAA's expansion into the sports market.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mendes's registration details with Fifa" Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  2. ^ "GestiFute: About Us" Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  3. ^ a b http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/10085617/Monaco-break-the-bank-with-110m-spree-and-send-out-warning-to-Europes-giants.html
  4. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jan/18/jorge-mendes-profile-agent
  5. ^ http://www.marca.com/2013/05/28/en/football/international_football/1369775727.html
  6. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/22/-sp-jorge-mendes-agent-third-party-ownership-players
  7. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18027560
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Hughes, Matt. "Jorge Mendes: from bar owner to football super-agent", The Times, 12 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  10. ^ a b c Conn, David. "Jorge Mendes: The rise and rise of Portugal's super-agent", The Guardian, 18 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  11. ^ "Newcastle close on Viana"; UEFA.com, 20 June 2002. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Burt, Jason. "How Mendes has made himself key player behind the biggest deals in Europe", The Independent, 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  13. ^ "Mourinho ready for Chelsea", BBC, 7 May 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  14. ^ a b c Conn, David. "Court case that shows who gets what from football's richest transfers", The Guardian, 18 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  15. ^ Conn, David. "Why £5.25m of the money Chelsea paid for David Luiz went to investors", The Guardian, 3 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-03.
  16. ^ a b Conn, David. "The brightest star in Europe and £1m to a mysterious agent", The Guardian, 19 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  17. ^ "Mourinho makes shock Chelsea exit", BBC, 20 September 2007. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  18. ^ Castles, Duncan. "Mourinho to quit for £40m Real Madrid deal", The Sunday Times, 23 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  19. ^ "Jose Mourinho's move to Real Madrid 'to take time'", BBC, 25 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  20. ^ "Jose agent's £4m jackpot on Anderson", The Evening Standard, 1 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  21. ^ a b c Ogden, Mark. "Bébé's former agent claims he was cut out of Manchester United transfer deal", The Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  22. ^ a b c d e Conn, David. "Portuguese police to question Manchester United over Bébé transfer", The Guardian, 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  23. ^ a b c Conn, David. "Bébé, Manchester United and the deal interesting the Portuguese police", The Guardian, 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  24. ^ Conn, David. "How Manchester United's Bébé went from street kid to €9m player", The Guardian, 20 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  25. ^ Ogden, Mark. "Manchester United's Bébé deal saw sports agency Gestifute net 30 per cent of transfer fee", The Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  26. ^ Wilson, Paul. "Sir Alex Ferguson breaks the mould bringing Bébé to Manchester United", The Guardian, 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  27. ^ [2].
  28. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/22/-sp-jorge-mendes-agent-third-party-ownership-players
  29. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jan/30/chelsea-links-third-party-ownership
  30. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/23/uefa-third-party-ownership-champions-league
  31. ^ "CAA Sports and International Soccer Agency Gestifute Create Global Partnership to Represent Top Talent", Business Wire, 9 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-02.

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