This is how Jorge Mendes, the tireless super agent who has supported Barça with both feet, works

Qualities that stand out Jorge Mendes People who treated him professionally: persistently. Tireless. Workaholic. A gift for personal relationships. A born salesman: He sells football players, but would also be well suited to selling racing sailboats or refrigerators. The sources consulted by EL PERIÓDICO of the Prensa Ibérica group to find out the “modus operandi” of the Portuguese agent point to other characteristics, but those mentioned generate unanimity.

“It is impossible to continue a conversation with him for more than two minutes. You eat dinner and soon he’s on the phone negotiating with a club, and immediately with another. “He’s a hyperactive guy, outrageous,” describes a technical director who has done business with Mendes on several occasions.

“He is someone who comes in well. He is very funny, has the ability to tell anecdotes and a lot of experience. He has a huge network of contacts, but above all he is very persistent,” explains a former president of a first division club. “He is available 20 hours a day. That is the key to his success. “He doesn’t give up,” he once said. Txiki BegiristainTechnical Secretary of Manchester City.

All these virtues have brought him into the elite of football representatives and have now allowed him to nail both boots to the Barça ranch. The complicity with Joan Laporta also helped, there is no doubt about that.Alexander Echevarria (even without an official position despite internal relevance) and decoration, whose agent he was during his playing days. The Portuguese super agent has integrated himself so much into Barça that his right-hand man, the Brazilian Sergio AlvesHe is now Deco’s right-hand man and Mateu Alemany’s successor. Likewise without an official position.

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His core aim is to move his players as much as possible to collect the maximum commissions and this summer he has pushed the full-back into the Barca sideboard. I’m breaking off, a compelling need for the team, and playmaker João Félix was penned. Since they are assignments, you will have to wait until the end of the course to earn income. In return, Barça will receive usufruct for one season on two top footballers at a good price. Log rolling.

“He’s like a chess player. “Always think four or five games ahead,” emphasizes the former leader. TO Ansu Fati He was looking for the Premier showcase in Brighton. Years ago he tried to seduce FC Barcelona with a 150 million offer from Manchester United for the striker. At that time he was considered a kind of chosen one, the new “10”, and he was not for sale. Mendes missed a juicy bite, the mother of all orders.

Private plane

Mendes, 57, always travels by private flight (and travels a lot). His schedule is intense. You can have breakfast at your home in Porto, fly to Barcelona to have dinner with Barça representatives in Via Veneto, have dinner in Paris and then return home to sleep. During his always short visits to the Catalan capital, he usually stops by Laporta’s apartment.

The scope of delivery includes an earphone that is firmly anchored in the ear and three mobile phones. He travels to the meetings in a black van with tinted windows that he rented at the destination, including a driver. He is always surrounded by a cloud of his own perfume and four or five assistants. Gesturing, his soccer representation company. He founded it in the late 90s with his first customer: Nuno Espirito SantoThen a discreet goalkeeper and now a coach in Saudi Arabia.

The company grew mainly from Cristiano Ronaldo. “Mendes made Cristiano and Cristiano made Mendes,” it is often said. Today Gestifute represents more than 100 players (including Bucket and Lamine Yamal) and several coaches, such as Jose Mourinho. According to Transfermakt, the value of his portfolio is 1.3 billion. However, Cristiano is no longer one of his clients after a highly publicized divorce at the end of last year. This was before CR7 signed for Saudi Arabia, a difficult market for him to enter and which he dominates. Pini Zahavi, former partner of Laporta. In any case, Mendes also lost a good chunk there.

Wars between agents

A former Barça manager talks about his stubborn character. “He followed us a lot Trincao. Some technicians liked it, but it also caused reluctance. Every Sunday he sent us videos of his best pieces. To the president, to the technicians, to managers…” And he got his way.

According to legend, the Colombian Radamel Falcao gave him a Porsche go with him. If you’re interested in a player, part of your playbook is to pay the family good money and thus snatch him away from his current agent. According to another legend, he paid two million to the Lamine Yamal family so that he would leave Ivan de la Pena, who had lovingly cared for him as he grew. Of course he hopes to recoup the investment somehow.

Strong lineage

The former Barça coach highlights one of Mendes’ virtues: “He has a good thing: he tries to place players for you, but if they don’t work, he takes them away and tries to move them to another team.” “Don’t worry, if things don’t go well, let me know,” he said. That’s how he did it Semedo, Andre Gomes and Trincao. And the club has recovered its investment.

This is possible because Mendes typically has influence in half a dozen clubs through which he can move his clients. In his time he built a strong alliance with Florentino Pérez in Madrid: He put Mourinho and Queiroz on the bench. To Di María, James, Pepe, Coentrao and Cristiano himselfin the template…

“She is a specialist in chain operations. You have to be vigilant because it can envelop you,” says the technical secretary consulted. This summer it became apparent at Barça: In order for the two Portuguese to get in, they had to move Ansu And Abde.

“It’s a shark”

Aside from his documented problems with the Treasury over his clients’ tax structures (not just in Spain, he was also under investigation in Portugal, Ireland and Turkey), Mendes had conflicts with many players who felt ignored and ultimately sidelined “It’s a shark, it’s mainly interested in big fish,” explains the technical secretary. The bigger the fish, the bigger the commission. Apparently.

In fact, he is primarily responsible for his agency’s top 10 or top 15. He leaves the rest to his cohort of assistants. With Sergio Alves By focusing on Barça’s affairs, he has gained strength at his side Hugo Valdir, a former Portuguese footballer who always travels with him.

But with the players he gives, he really gives. Years ago, in the early 2000s, I called the sports newspaper editorial offices on the weekend and asked how their Barça players were playing. He said he couldn’t watch the game in question. And he called at halftime and after the final whistle. Any editor could pick up the phone. I was looking for an opinion.

Today he regrets the journalistic persecution he believes he is suffering in Barcelona and has complained about it to Laporta, although he plays interested leaks like no other. Remember: you are, above all, a great salesperson.

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