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Finding the next Cristiano Ronaldo

Gonçalo Reis speaks to Ben Kelly about life as a FIFA player agent, how the profession has developed and his mission to discover the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Nani.

What players do you currently have on your books?

I have mainly Portuguese players who are very young and have a lot of potential. The Portuguese formation is one of the best European football schools. The majority of our players come from the best school formation in Portugal which is Sporting Lisbon. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Quaresma all came out of Sporting Lisbon. 

How do you decide whether you are going to take a new player on with your agency?

The decision to take a football player is born in the scouting. The best scouting will find the best players. There is always a common criteria in the quality, then we need to analyse other aspects like social, family, skills, etc.

Where do you search for new players?

We search for new football players around the world. However, we prefer to work in our market in Portugal as that is where we are based.

How has the job of the agent developed since you have been in the industry?

The agent’s job is developing very quickly. Presently I am facing a new change in the football market, because I feel that clubs are contacting us to get information about players. We are transforming our knowledge to be the club’s consultants. From the UK I have mainly been contacted for an in-depth knowledge of the Portuguese football players. The relations with the clubs must be healthy. They look for my agency as one that they can trust.

Much criticism has been aimed at agents for the fees they charge. What are your views on the matter?

Our fees are not as high as the media think. We must present to the clubs the best football players, and the clubs want to pay as litlle as possible. So, that is our mission, to find the best players for the lowest investment on behalf of the clubs. 

Do you believe that there are agents out there who give the better agents a bad name?

There are a few, but the majority work well.

Who are the best players that you have found for clubs in the last couple of years?

I found Bebé who joined Manchester United. Presently I am working with other players with the same quality and potential as Bebé.



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