Best Arab Player of the Year, Salah, Mahrez and Benatia running for the award.
Best Agent of the Year, Pogba and Bale deal are pushing Raiola and Barnett.
- Giovanni Branchini
- Jonathan Barnett
- Jorge Mendes
- Mino Raiola
- Paul Martin
Giovanni Branchini is the first nominee for the Best Agent of the Year award. Last year, the founder of Branchini Spa (together with Carlo Pallavicino in 1986) had pressed Jorge Mendes hard for the award, competing with the best in the world thanks to the transfers of Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman to Bayern Munich, Mario Mandzukic to Juventus, Miranda to Inter Milan and Angelo Ogbonna to West Ham.
Branchini has been an international agent for around 30 years, and some of the game’s biggest names have had his assistance, including the Brazilian star Ronaldo, Hidetoshi Nakata, Manuel Rui Costa, Sebastien Frey, Jonathan Zebina and the unforgettable Clarence Seedorf, winner of four Champions Leagues with 3 different teams (Ajax – 1994/1995; Real Madrid – 1997/1998; AC Milan – 2002/2003, 2006/2007).
Throughout his career, he also worked on the transfer of yet another star, Cristiano Ronaldo, from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United, and that of Luca Toni and Josè Sosa to Bayern Munich. Today, he is also working with some players from the Italian national team.
During the last transfer window he featured in and orchestrated the transfer activity of Juventus and Bayern Munich.
In 2013 Branchini received a Globe Soccer award for his work as a football agent.
Jonathan Barnett – second nominee for the Best Agent of the Year Award – is a football agent, chairman and founder of Stellar Group Limited, an agency which manages the careers of many personalities from the sports world – especially footballers – most of them playing in European championships. Barnett is remembered as the man who brought Lennox Lewis into the boxing world.
Barnett has managed to make his fortune with football, and is regarded as one of the wealthiest players’ agents in the world. Second only to Mendes, according to the “Il Resto del Carlino” newspaper, he is also one the most influential agents in the game.
Among his clients, we can find remarkable players such as Gareth Bale, Joe Hart and Luke Shaw, and he was responsible for Bale’s lucrative move from Tottenham to Real Madrid for a staggering 100 million euro (2013). And the latest market news is also about Bale, with reports that the Welsh player has signed his new contract with Real Madrid until 2022, with an incredible release clause of one billion euro.
Among Barnett’s other important deals during the latest market window, we have the loan of England’s first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart from Manchester City to Turin, the purchase of the Polish player Grzegorz Krychowiak by PSG, with the payment to Seville of a release clause of 45 million euro, and most importantly the signing of a 4-year contract by the 18-year old Dutch player Timothy Fosu-Mensah — a rising football star — with the first team of Manchester United, for a salary of 1.3 million pounds per annum – an amount which makes him one of highest paid under-21 players in the world.
The third nominee for the Best Agent of the Year award is, this year too, the multi-award winner Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes, who since 2010 has never missed out on this award at every edition of Globe Soccer.
His having taken home six consecutive awards in six editions of the event, gives you a good idea of the qualities of this great talent from the football agent world, qualities he uses in his work which started as far back as 1996, the year Mendes decided to set up GestiFute, his football agency, worth around 600 million euro today.
Jorge Mendes can therefore be considered one of the most influential agents of the moment, perhaps thanks to his innate flair – typical of the Portuguese – for selecting and making the most of young talent. It is no coincidence that under his wing we find some of the best players and coaches with the highest market value, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez among the players, and José Mourinho among the coaches.
One of his most important deals is without doubt the transfer from Benfica to Bayern Munich (for 35 million euro) of the very young Portuguese star Renato Sanches, who at just 19 is already the youngest winner, scorer and player in the history of European Championships. To this may be added the transfer to Lazio of the Brazilian Wallace, a defender born in ‘94 who has already scored his first goal for the club, as well as the engagement of Jose Mourinho with Manchester United, on a 3-year contract worth 59 million euro.
The fourth nominee for Best Agent of the Year is Mino Raiola, who with great intuition and skills was the absolute star in the latest transfer activity of 2016, Not by coincidence, he’s considered one of the most influential agents in international football.
During his career as agent he has helped players in Italy such as Marciano Vink and Pavel Nedved, but rose to international fame thanks to his work with notable players and champions such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Urby Emanuelson and Mario Balotelli.
His tremendous intuition led him, during the 2016 summer market, to pull off a world record deal, that of the most expensive ever sale, with the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United (from which, back in 2012, Raiola had moved the player to Juventus on a free transfer). During this same season, he also arranged the transfers of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Mkytharyan to Manchester United and of Mario Balotelli to Nice.
The transfers of Pogba and Mkytharyan both rank in the top 10 of the most expensive transfers of the year, with 105 million euro for the French player (ranking 1st) and 42 million euro for the Russian (ranking 7th).
The fifth nominee for the Best Agent of the Year award is Paul Martin, Executive Vice President for Global Football in the American sports marketing and management company “Wasserman Media Group”, set up by Casey Wasserman in 1998.
In recent years, the goal of the company has been to grow in Europe, in order to break into the world’s most important football market. Heading this expansion – which has led the company to have representatives in the USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Spain – is Paul Martin.
During the last transfer window, Martin was a key player in breaking another market record, alongside Raiola’s record deal with Paul Pogba: the transfer of John Stones from Everton to Manchester City for over 56 million euro, transforming the English player into the most expensive defender ever, surpassing the amount which was paid for the transfer of David Luiz from Chelsea to Paris Saint Germain in 2014.
- Medhi Benatia
- Mohamed Salah
- Riyad Mahrez
The first candidate for the Best Kooora Arab Player of the Year award is Medhi Benatia, the 29-year old Moroccan footballer – a defender – currently, and starting this season, on loan from Bayern Munich to Juventus. Since 2008 he has been part of the Moroccan national team, which he has also captained since 2015.
He arrived in Italy for the first time in 2010 with Udinese – where he stayed for 3 years – and he was then bought by AS Roma for the 2013/2014 season. It was at Rome that the player displayed his great defensive skills and excellent technique which aroused the interest of many European clubs, including Bayern Munich, which bought him for 26 million euro in 2015.
After a season at Bayern where he had few opportunities to show his class, this year the player came back to Italy to wear a black and white shirt (and this time not that of Udinese). Thanks to Juventus, the Moroccan defender is now returning to his top form.
This year Benatia may also return to wearing the captain’s armband for Morocco during the Africa Cup, after the team was disqualified from the tournament in 2015, owing to Morocco’s refusal to host and organise the Cup for fear of the spread of the Ebola virus.
Benatia was also the first player ever to win a Globe Soccer Award for the Best Arab Player of the Year in 2014.
The second candidate for the Best Kooora Arab Player of the Year award is Mohamed Salah, a 24-year old player from Egypt – a forward – who since 2015 has been with the Italian club AS Roma – after having played with Basel, Chelsea and Fiorentina. Since 2011, the year of his first cap, he has also played for the Egyptian national team.
During his career, he has won a Swiss Super League with Basel and, in 2012, was recognised as the most promising talent of the African Football Confederation (CAF). In 2013, he was the recipient of the SAFP Golden Player Award.
Salah has been nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi” for the tremendous skills and great speed he has displayed on the pitch. The Egyptian, in proving his abilities on more than one occasion – and above all in his most recent year with AS Roma – has shown that he deserves the nickname he has been given.
During the last season, he scored fifteen times with Rome – fourteen goals in the championship and one in the Champions League. In the first part of this new season, he has already scored eight times, over half the goals he scored in all of last season, possibly a sign of the player’s steady growth.
The third candidate for the Best Kooora Arab Player of the Year award is Riyad Mahrez, the Algerian player born in ’91 – a midfielder – who has been playing for Leicester City since 2014, while also representing the Algerian national team.
Last season, with Leicester as the English champions, Mahrez scored seventeen goals in the Premier League and in the current 2016/2017 season he has already scored seven times, four of them in the Champions League.
Thanks to his great performances on the pitch, which helped his team achieve unexpected success in Premier League’s last season, Mahrez was also included in the list of 23 candidates for the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award, together with other stars of the calibre of Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mahrez has already won an award in 2016 as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, an award given every year to the best player in the Premier League, which in the past has been presented to great champions such as Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.