Finances of professional football clubs have increased drastically over the last few years thanks to some bumper TV deals. European soccer stars are some the highest-paid athletes in the world. European club football has reached a stage where agents can demand virtually any amount of money from the club if they own a quality player.
These days agents play a role not just in facilitating a deal but also in deciding where the future of a player lies. Neymar deal during the summer of 2013 redefined the role of agents in football.
Neymar's father made a staggering €50 million from that deal and Barcelona had no option but to oblige to his demands. The same happened when Pogba moved from Juventus to Manchester United and when Neymar moved from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
These powerful agents determine their own fee and clubs/managers have to agree to that if they want to make the deal happen.
Let's see some of the most powerful agents in football:
#5 Mino Raiola
Total number of clients: 55
Contracts worth: £186m
Marquee Clients: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Blaise Matuidi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti.
Commission earned in 2017: $43.5 million
The Italian-born Dutchman started his trade in the late 1990s. his first big deal saw him secure Pavel Nedved's move from Sparta Prague to Lazio, and then a move to Juventus.
He came to limelight when he recruited 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.
Raiola not only secured Paul Pogba's £1.5 million move to Juventus in 2012 but also played a key role in his return to Manchester United in 2016, earning himself a fee of £41 million.
He also masterminded Romelu Lukaku's and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's moves to Manchester United. He is a master at getting the best possible deals for his clients and is one of the best negotiators in world football at the moment. He may not have too many clients, but he has some world-class players.
Sir Alex Ferguson quoted him in his book saying - "There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola...is one of them."