Another big win for Jorge Mendes?
The man who represents Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Neymar and Toni Kroos in soccer — and the ones who designed the stunning “Operation United,” the all-star wish list of talent available in potential U.S. MLS contracts — happens to be a general partner of a sports agency. On Saturday, he walked away with the €55 million guaranteed portion of Real Madrid’s 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder Vinicius Junior. He did the same thing for Cristiano Ronaldo when they broke up. And, now, the newest of his clients is making it rain with the red and white-striped ones of Real Madrid, becoming the world’s most expensive teenage signing.
This makes Juan Santos Pereira, director of Talé, Mendes’ sports agency, and Mendes’ business partner a title holder for yet another week — now he stands to make at least €75 million when the transfers close. The amount makes the price tag of this transfer equal to the $135 million Ronaldo received upon his release, an amount known as a “binary option” and related to the coach Jose Mourinho being able to buy him back at any time within a contract of up to five years. It could then swell to €100 million for Ronaldo, as he now has the option to terminate the contract within one year — which was not specifically said in the contract — and cost Real Madrid €30 million.
This doesn’t surprise the “Brummie” sports aficionado who could have envisioned the future in the early days of the Ronaldo-Mourinho relationship when Mourinho told reporters he did not like Ronaldo, rather than, the midfielder making it known he was a player he wanted. That, though, was in 2010, when Mendes was already represented by football in his Manhattan office, a business and marketing empire with global clients and clients in the fashion, media and luxury categories.