In the world of modern football, there are few people that provoke as much as animosity as the agents of footballers, who are seen as harbingers of misfortune.
Some argue that they are the ones who trick players into moving to clubs, which they don’t want to, but do so, because of the agent, who is in search of some extra cash. Whilst others say that they act almost like parents to young footballers. The reality is probably somewhere in between in most cases.
But, in Brazil, agents are sometimes even more influential than the players own kith and kin and seemingly take advantage of gullible young footballers, some of whom haven’t even been to school. There have been plenty of cases of players moving elsewhere just because of the agent and those cases, mostly involve Brazilian players and Willian is the latest example of that.
As a player, Willian had the world at his feet, when, out of nowhere, he moved from Shakthar Donetsk to Anzhi Makhachkala in January this year after five-and-a-half years at Shakthar, playing elite European Football. Whilst many clubs were clamoring for his signature, he ended up going to Russia.
It seems unlikely that he would have done that all by himself. Even his move now, to Chelsea was one that done in the offices, when it looked for all money that he was going to Tottenham. But, when Chelsea came in with more money, the agent was quick to ask him to take it, as that would mean more commission.
Another example is that of Bernard, a highly rated Brazilian winger who recently moved to Shakhtar Donetsk from Atlético Mineiro for €25m. Whilst this move might look pretty straightforward, as Shakthar has a strong Brazilian contingent, which would see him fit right in, the fact he wanted to go to either Arsenal or FC Porto is quickly lost in afterthought.
Even during the Confederations Cup warm up games, Bernard was talking about how he would love to play in England, but his move was scuppered by his agent, in favor of more money, which came in from elsewhere. Right now, his every move is taken care of by his agent and agents, in general, seem to have an influence over anything that is done.
Even Luiz Gustavo, who wanted out of Bayern and spoke of his interest in joining Arsenal was forced to move to Wolfsburg, firstly on account of wages and secondly, because the company that handles his affairs wanted him to stay in the Bundesliga. As a result of which, he will not be playing in Europe this year. That will almost certainly have a detrimental impact, as he looks to break into the World Cup squad.
Whilst a lot of blame is usually attached to players for wanting to move out for more money, at least in the case of most Brazilian players, it is the agents who are to blame.
Because, in most cases, the players are humble people, some of whom haven’t even finished school, but are being used as puppets by their agents who simply put, have too much power.
And whilst with the amount of power they have, they should try to at least act responsibly, on the available evidence, it seems that, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. In which case, more and more deals will change hands at the last minute, especially when it comes to young Brazilian starlets.
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