The highest earning soccer managers and what they do

Behind a good footballer, there is a great representative in charge of his present and future. These are the most important managers and their work.

Jorge Mendes and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Meet the reps behind the successful careers of footballers. / Photo: instagram.com/jorge.mendes.gestifute

LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Bacallado

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Leer en español: Representantes de futbolistas: Qué hacen y quiénes son los mejores

At first glance, a footballer seems like a kind of "worker" who moves from one club to another according to his interests or needs. However, all the work that involves looking for a club, preparing a contract and obtaining sponsors is not something that the footballer does directly, either due to time and/or ignorance, therefore this responsibility falls on a representative, who must study and train to do this. 

So, what do they do?

Soccer managers are in charge of negotiating contracts, either to reach a renewal agreement or transfer to another team, with the idea of enforcing the interests and demands of the player, according to Soccer Jobs. But in addition to managing football contracts, the manager, together with the firm he works for -or owns-, also offers other services, such as financial, legal and tax consulting, as well as media and image management , in which they advise the represented for good communication, according to JEP Sports Management.

For example, there are cases in which a footballer wants to leave as quickly as possible from a team in which he still has a contract, so his manager can advise him to generate pressure on the board through acts such as not attending training, to which the representative must be ready to defend him from punishments by the club and media criticism.

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What do they study? Taking into account that a representative must fully advise a player, he must be previously trained, although it is no longer necessary to have a FIFA license. Emagister says that they must carry out courses to obtain knowledge about sports rights, finances and national and international regulations. However, according to the JEP Sports Management agency, in countries such as Spain, the RFEF soccer federation only requires being of legal age with Spanish identification and a payment of 860 euros to complete an interview and obtain a sports agent license.

It should be noted that this work can be well paid since the representatives earn money from commissions on the transfer prices, which can reach 20% as well as a percentage of the salary that the footballer obtains. However, FIFA plans to limit managers' commissions to 10% on transfers (other sports such as the NBA have a 4% limit) as well as 3% of the salary of the soccer players represented, according to El País.

The 5 representatives who earn the most money

Soccer moves large amounts of money, including transfers of soccer players. According to FIFA, in 2019 there was a movement of 7.5 billion euros, in which more than 500 million euros were given to the representatives by commissions. According to data from Forbes, these are the 5 soccer managers that made the most money in 2019:

5) Alessandro Lucci

This Italian agent specializes in footballers from his country, with 28 represented among which Bonucci and Florenzi stand out. With his company World Soccer Agency, the Italian closed 284.8 million dollars in contracts, of which he obtained 28.5 million in commissions.

4) Volker Struth

The most important representative of Germany, with clients such as Toni Kroos and Marco Reus, Struth managed with his SportsTotal agency some 437.3 million dollars among his 89 clients, earning 43.7 million.

3) Mino Raiola

The Italian manager is quite recognized in the world of football for the importance of the people he represents and his good relations with big clubs like Manchester United or Real Madrid, with 72 clients in his agency, the names of Paul Pogba, Ibrahimovic stand out, as well as young promises like Donnarumma, De Ligt and Haaland. Raiola has made $ 703 million in contracts, earning $ 70.3 million for himself.

2) Jorge Mendes


Una publicación compartida de Jorge Mendes (@jorge.mendes.gestifute) el

Also widely known in the world of soccer for representing players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Maria and James Rodríguez, with his agency Gestifute, the Portuguese has generated 1,200 million dollars with contracts, earning 118 million in commissions.

Also read: The 5 soccer players who earn the most money

1) Jonathan Barnett

Perhaps his name does not sound familiar to you, however, he is not only the representative of the soccer players with the most income, but he is also the sports agent who earns the most money, beating managers of other sports such as basketball or baseball, which generate much more money but receive fewer commissions. Barnett belongs to the Star Group and has closed $ 1.3 billion on contracts, earning $ 128 million. Barnett represents soccer players such as Gareth Bale and Saúl Ñiguez, although his first client was the important cricketer Brian Lara, he currently represents 213 people.