Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabinho and more: An XI of players represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes
- We take a look at the best possible XI constructed purely from Mendes' list of clients.
In an age where football agents are very influential in brokering record-breaking deals, it is essential for clubs to be on good terms with people of high standing in that regard. These super-agents in the past have shown their ability to be the catalyst for many big-money deals in recent times, such as that of Joao Felix's blockbuster €126m move from SL Benfica to Atletico Madrid upon the latter's sale of Antoine Griezmann to FC Barcelona.
The agent behind the Portuguese's move, Jorge Mendes, is one of the most well-connected agents in world football. Although Felix isn't technically a client of Mendes' player agency GestiFute, the Portuguese agent was critically involved in seeing the move through much like he was for a stellar list of names, including five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Here, we take a look at the best possible XI constructed purely from Mendes' list of clients.
Goalkeeper & Defence
Ederson Moraes; Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Gabriel Paulista, Nelson Semedo
Brazilian international Ederson has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League alongside the likes of David de Gea and Alisson Becker with two consecutive top-flight titles. Ederson has revamped the way goalkeepers are involved in the build-up play in England and has been pivotal to Manchester City's success.
In what is a relatively young defence that guards the Manchester City keeper, his teammate Joao Cancelo stars at right-back and the versatile attacking full-back is rated as one of the best in his position, although he has struggled often for game time off-late.
Rumoured Cityzens target Ruben Dias of Benfica and former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista form the centre-half partnership, beating out the likes of UEFA Euro 2016 winner Pepe and Nicolas Otamendi to the spot. Both defenders have featured fairly often in the Champions League with their clubs and the 22 and 29-year-olds have been permanent fixtures for their respective sides.
Barcelona's Nelson Semedo, who has had to fill in at left-back at the Camp Nou this season does the same in this line-up and the 26-year-old Portuguese completes the defence. He has been picked over another extremely promising full-back in Ricardo Pereira.
Fabinho Tavares, James Rodriguez, Ruben Neves
In what is a well-balanced midfield on paper, Liverpool's midfield lynchpin Fabinho protects the backline. Considering the Reds' dominance in Europe and now in the Premier League, the Brazilian destroyer is understandably one of Mendes' crown jewels in midfield. Fabinho's rise from his Monaco days to becoming an immovable object in Liverpool's midfield has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Speaking of crown jewels, none come in more established builds than Ruben Neves. The 22-year-old Wolves orchestrator one of the most promising midfielders in Europe with a massive amount of game time already under his belt. Neves has been at the heart of Wolves' rich form this season as well. Learning from a fellow Mendes client Joao Moutinho, it is only a matter of time before he gets a big-money move.
James Rodriguez has suffered a significant drop in form over the last few years and is to this date finding it a tough task to break into the Real Madrid midfield. After failing to seal a spot for himself under Zinedine Zidane, the Colombian was away on loan at German champions Bayern Munich and is currently still facing uncertainty regarding his future. However, he still remains one of the Portuguese agents' biggest clients.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Angel Di Maria
A front-line of majestic quality and that possess enough silverware to fill multiple trophy cabinets, Jorge Mendes is the proud agent of some of the greatest attacking talents of this generation of the sport. And one of them is not just that, but one of the best to have ever played the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo is undisputedly the biggest superstar on Mendes' list of clients and has been witness to the rise of the Portuguese icon. The Manchester United and Real Madrid legend has spoken highly of the influence that the agent has had on his career. From Sporting Lisbon in the early 2000s to this day at Juventus, the Madeira and Lisbon natives share an excellent relationship and he has been a telling presence in Ronaldo's life.
Ronaldo's former Los Blancos team-mate Angel Di Maria has been an accomplished footballer and has seen immense success over the last decade. A former fellow Red Devil as well, the Argentine winger is currently in the midst of a superb season at Paris Saint-Germain and remains one of the most consistent wingers in Europe.
A player from the blue half of Manchester in the form of Bernardo Silva completes the line-up, flanking his international teammate Ronaldo on the right. Manchester City's Portuguese maestro is an absolute magician with the ball at his feet and is one of the best attacking players in the world. His tenacity off the ball and elegance with it makes him a unique proposition and will go on to become even better with age.Published 04 Mar 2020, 18:48 IST