Ranking World Football's 10 Most Influential Agents

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistOctober 1, 2015

Ranking World Football's 10 Most Influential Agents

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    The dream of being a professional footballer has died for pretty much all of us, so how about becoming the next best thing?

    As money has slowly infiltrated the world game, agents have become more and more influential, helping their players earn big-money contracts and moves, but just who are the most important in the world today?

    Here's our top-10 ranking of the most influential agents in football.

10. Pini Zahavi

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    Key clients: Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Joao Moutinho .

    A major player in the world game in the early to mid-2000s—when he was involved in both Rio Ferdinand's move to Manchester United and the first few deals of the Roman Abramovich revolution at Chelsea—Pini Zahavi has been somewhat quieter since playing a part in the controversial deal that took Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham United in 2006.

    More recently, though, he helped broker Mascherano's contract extension at Barcelona last year and Tevez's move back home to Boca Juniors this summer.

9. Mondial Promotions

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    Key clients: Raphael Varane, Olivier Giroud, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Philippe Coutinho and Ramires.

    A growing agency representing several French and Brazilian players, Mondial Promotions spreads out its agents over a few players to ensure its clients are given the best deals.

    Premier League stars such as Ramires, Philippe Coutinho and Olivier Giroud are seemingly happy with Mondial's services, while the agency's biggest transfer deal of the summer saw Geoffrey Kondogbia swap Monaco for Internazionale for a multimillion-pound fee.

8. Thomas Kroth

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    Key clients: Manuel Neuer and Shinji Kagawa.

    One of the most influential figures in the Bundesliga (although not the most influential agent in the German top flight, as we'll discover later), Thomas Kroth is the man trusted to handle the business side of the careers of Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer and Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa among others.

    As reported by Forbes (h/t talkSPORT), Kroth has negotiated £147.2 million in active contracts.

7. Giuliano Bertolucci

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    Key clients: David Luiz, Marquinhos, Oscar and Paulinho.

    A key figure in the huge move that took David Luiz from Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, Giuliano Bertolucci's Euro Export Assessoria e Propaganda represents several Brazilian players, both of a high-profile nature and younger players who are looking to make their mark in Europe.

    This summer, his key move saw him help end Paulinho's disappointing time at Tottenham Hotspur, with the midfielder moving to Guangzhou Evergrande in China, where he plays alongside compatriot Robinho.

6. Fernando Felicevich

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    Key clients: Arturo Vidal, Alexis Sanchez and Claudio Bravo.

    Chilean players have been making more and more of a mark on Europe in recent years, and one of the key figures behind that has been agent Fernando Felicevich.

    Since last summer, Felicevic has been involved in Claudio Bravo's move to Barcelona, Alexis Sanchez's switch to Arsenal and, this summer, Arturo Vidal's transfer from Juventus to Bayern Munich.

5. Jose Otin

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    Key clients: Fernando Torres, Pedro Rodriguez, Jesus Navas and Javi Martinez.

    Holding a big portion the Spanish market, 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 has been on the move a lot recently, first joining AC Milan before a switch back home to Atletico Madrid, while Pedro hit the headlines this summer following his switch to Chelsea.

4. Jonathan Barnett

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    Key clients: Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Luke Shaw and Wojciech Szczesny.

    The man behind the biggest transfer world football has ever seen, Jonathan Barnett will forever be able to live off the reputation garnered by helping secure Gareth Bale his dream switch to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013.

    A key figure in British transfers, Barnett's group, Stellar, also helped Luke Shaw switch from Southampton to Manchester United in 2014 and aided in Joe Hart's contract negotiations at Manchester City last season.

3. Mino Raiola

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    Key clients: Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Romelu Lukaku.

    An active figure in the media, Mino Raiola is never short of a quote or two when it comes to talking about the players he counts as clients.

    With Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli on the same roster, you can understand why, but Raiola's key client over the next year or so is almost certain to be Juventus' Paul Pogba, who continues to grow as a player and is coveted by all of the elite clubs.

2. Volker Struth

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    Key clients: Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus.

    The man who looks after plenty of Germany's World Cup winners, super-agent Volker Struth might not be too well-known, but his company, SportsTotal, makes a lot of his money in renegotiating contracts for its superstars.

    Marco Reus is one such player who benefitted from as much, while one recent transfer he was heavily involved in was the move that took Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid last summer.

1. Jorge Mendes

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    Key clients: Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, David De Gea, Diego Costa, Thiago Silva, Radamel Falcao and Jose Mourinho.

    There are no prizes for guessing who makes it to No. 1, with the influence of Jorge Mendes now so apparent at the very top level of world football.

    Last October we counted down Mendes' 20 biggest deals during what has been a lifetime in football, and with plenty more transfers and contract renewals for Gestifute's clients on the way, you can be sure the Portuguese won't be out of pocket any time soon.

    Client information taken from this Daily Telegraph article.

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