A football agent is an individual who, for an agreed fee, represents and negotiates respectable contract and endorsement deals for their respective players and coaches.
In return, they receive a commission that usually an agreed percent of the contract sum, although this figure varies between various sports and agents.
In this report, Legit.ng highlights the top five most powerful football agents in the world, who at times react on issues concerning their clients as part of oversight functions.
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5. Pini Zahavi
Born on August 24, 1943, the 75 year-old Pinhas "Pini" Zahavi is an Israeli football agent.
Zahavi is fondly known for his role in the change of ownership of Chelsea and Portsmouth.
And after bringing Roman Abramovich to Chelsea in 2003, he smiled to the bank with a reported commission of £5m from the £111m splashed out on new players arriving Stamford Bridge.
In addition, Zahavi also sealed Rio Ferdinand’s switch from West Ham to Leeds for £18m and Leeds to Manchester United for £30m, with commission totaling about £1.13m.
Recently, Zahavi played an important role in Neymar’s switch to PSG, even as Polish star Robert Lewandowski joined his list of clientele in 2018.
However, Zahavi had his low moments in 2005 when the English FA investigated him for his role in Ashley Cole’s tapping, but was set free after the FA and Premier League revealed they lacked control over Zahavi.
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4. Kia Joorabchian
The 47-year-old Kiavash "Kia" Joorabchian is an Iranian-born British-educated businessman largely involved in association football matters.
He is usually referred to as a football agent, but Joorabchian thinks otherwise, saying "I think the agency business is very different".
Joorabchian insists his job routine is all about advising football players on their rights and clubs on transfers and contracts.
A staunch Arsenal fans, Joorabchian, made his greatest break in the industry in 2004 after sealing a partnership between Media Sports Investments and Brazilian outfit Corinthians.
A move that gave birth to a fruitful relationship with Argentine star Carlos Tevez, who he had since moved around from England to Italy to China and back to Argentina.
At the last count, Joorabchian has been involved with the likes of ex-Chelsea star Oscar, Tiemoue Bakayoko’s switch to Chelsea from Monaco along with David Luiz’s combined £91m transfer from Benfica to Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain and back to Chelsea.
Joorabchian was in the thick-of-the action for Philippe Coutinho’s £142m switch from Liverpool to Barcelona last summer.
And currently holds the economic rights of about 60 to 70 players across Europe and South America.
3. Mino Raiola
Born on November 4, 1967, the 51-year-old Italian-born Dutch football agent is one of the top football agent in the world.
Raiola is one of the most outspoken football agent most football love to hate as he represents some of the popularly names in world football, including the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Pavel Nedvěd and Mario Balotelli
At the last count, Raiola negotiated Pogba’s world record switch from Juventus to Man United for £89.3m, pocketing about £23m as commission.
In addition, Ibrahimovic has moved various clubs in Europe for an estimated fees of around £143m over the years, which Raiola collected his share in commission
Raiola lives in Monaco despite splashing out around £8m on Al Capone’s home in Miami.
2. Jonathan Barnett
Jonathan Ian Barnett is a renowned football agent and currently sits as chairman and founder of Stellar Group Limited.
The 69-year-old Barnett is credited as being the man who brought Lennox Lewis into the boxing world.
Interestingly, his first athlete was legendary Cricket player Brian Lara, but has moved on to represent some of the world's best football stars.
Some of his players includes Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Joe Hart, Jesse Lingard and Jordan Pickford.
In 2013, Barnett masterminded Bale’s £86m switch to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur, even he negotiated Shaw’s five-year deal at United valued at about £190k per week.
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1. Jorge Mendes
Jorge Paulo Agostinho Mendes fondly known as Jorge Mendes, is a Portuguese football agent.
According to Forbes, Mendes, who is the head of GestiFute Company, is among the most influential football agents with an annual commission of about £78m.
Presently, the 53-year-old represents star athletes and manager that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, José Mourinho, Diego Costa, and James Rodríguez among others.
Among cotemporaries, Mendes is seen as a "super-agent after claiming Best Agent of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards for six successive times, from 2010 to 2015.