The 20 most powerful agents in football
Today, football agents and agencies are unimaginably important. They can make or break a player – even a team, should that club find itself beholden to Mr 10%.
It would be a stretch to say agents are football’s new rock stars. However, with the staggering sums of money being invested in their clients, and the amounts the agents are then due, they wouldn’t miss the odd car driven into a swimming pool.
Yet identifying and ranking football’s most influential agents isn’t easy. If we thought it was difficult putting together our 100 Best Players in the World list, or our 50 Best Managers countdown, at least we didn’t have to contend with contracts shrouded in secrecy and people who prefer to remain in the shadows. (Credit: TransferMarkt for their list of agencies.)
And how does one define ‘influence’? Does somebody like Pere Guardiola, with a relatively small client base but one featuring the biggest players and managers, have a bigger impact on the game than an agency representing several hundred footballers spread across the globe? Perhaps – but not in all cases. This list doesn’t include some huge players’ representatives, because their reach is limited by their focus.
Still, honourable mentions are due to IFM, who represent David Silva and Santi Cazorla; IMG (Gerard Pique, Ander Herrera); ASA (Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic) and Christophe Henrotay, whose dozen Belgian clients include Thibaut Courtois and Yannick Carrasco.
Now, on with the Top 20. And FFT’s countdown begins with a British classic…
20. Base Soccer Agency
Plenty of young, hungry talents have also been scouted and snapped up by the agency
They’ve been around since the 1990s and have dozens of established Premier League and Football League players on their books, so it’s no wonder Base Soccer enjoy a fine reputation. A head office in trendy Soho belies a company with tentacles spread across the UK (they’ve an intriguingly high number of players currently or previously at Welsh clubs).
Plenty of young, hungry talents have also been scouted and snapped up by the agency. With a roster of consultants and intermediaries including several ex-pros, from Australia international Vincenzo Grella to defender ‘One Size’ Fitz Hall, Base aren’t slow to spot potential.
Top 5 clients: Aaron Ramsey, Andre Ayew, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Ashley Young.
19. Fernando Felicevich
Representing all of Chile’s biggest stars, Felicevich is personally worth some £17 million, yet he’s known for being almost a father figure to several of his players.
He’s also on Twitter, at @ffelicevich, where his profile picture suggests he’s not in fact a football agent but a rather chipper sun.
Top 5 clients: Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel, Angelo Henriquez.
— Fernando Felicevich (@ffelicevich) June 27, 2016
18. PRO Profil (Thomas Kroth)
PRO Profil’s clients include World Cup and Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer, Premier League champion Shinji Okazaki and several members of Bundesliga-winning teams
As a player, Thomas Kroth never won a league title and his single West Germany cap came in a home defeat to Hungary. As an agent, his charges have been somewhat more successful.
PRO Profil’s clients include World Cup and Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer, Premier League champion Shinji Okazaki and several members of Bundesliga-winning teams. Young footballers in Germany seeking an agent could do far worse than see what Kroth has to offer them.
Top 5 clients: Manuel Neuer, Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki, Kevin Volland, Patrick Herrmann.
17. FirstEleven ISM
Players they’ve helped to land big moves include Fabian Delph, Serge Aurier and Sime Vrsaljko
Some might say FirstEleven ISM could try to stand out more considering their role in life – they share a name with more than one football agency, for a start – but it hasn’t stopped the Cologne-based company from attracting a number of well-known footballers to their stable.
Top 5 clients: Fabian Delph, Vincent Janssen, Dejan Lovren, Mathieu Valbuena, Francis Coquelin.
16. Kick and Run Sports Management
Kick and Run have a growing number of up-and-coming footballers in their ranks, from Monaco right-back Fabinho to Borussia Moenchengladbach centre-back Andreas Christensen, although they also look after big-name Premier League stars at Arsenal and Chelsea.
Pleasingly, their offices are in Dusseldorf and Canary Wharf, which is fun to say.
Top 5 clients: Willian, Fabinho, Danny Welbeck, Andreas Christensen, Gabriel.