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    Tuesday, 25 July 2017

    Sport News: Raiola v Mendes – which super-agent has the best XI?

    After Marco Verratti announced he will work with Raiola, GQbuzz looks at how his elite clients compare to those of Mendes
    Agents wield a huge influence in modern football. Much of the power has been taken away from the clubs and handed to the players as multi-million deals are brokered through transfers and new contracts.
    And two of these so-called super agents are ahead of the rest. With numerous clients apiece, Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes could build an entire squad and, once again, the Italian-born representative and the Portuguese are very much in the headlines this summer.
    But which of the two men has the better XI? Here, Goal takes a look at the pair’s elite clients to find out…

    RAIOLA’S BEST PLAYERS XI

    Raiola has a new signing in Marco Verratti after the Italy midfielder announced last week that he will be working with the 49-year-old from now on, just in time to negotiate a lucrative contract at Paris Saint-Germain amid long-standing interest from Barcelona.
    That means Raiola represents a midfield featuring Verratti, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – one that could compete in the centre of the park with anything a top club side has to offer.
    Elsewhere, his clients include recent Manchester United arrival Romelu Lukaku, plus Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who was at Old Trafford last season and could yet earn a new deal for the Premier League side after he makes a full recovery. Nice forward Mario Balotelli is another alternative.
    In goal, Raiola has Gianluigi Donnarumma, who almost left AC Milan earlier this summer after contract negotiations upset the club and its fans. Two more Milan players, Ignazio Abate and Rodrigo Ely (who spent last season at Alaves) are also on his books, along with Fenerbahce’s Gregory van der Wiel and Roma’s promising young left-back Luca Pellegrini.

    MENDES’ BEST PLAYERS XI

    Mendes, meanwhile, now has just one player left at Real Madrid, but that man is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. Monaco’s Radamel Falcao and Chelsea’s Diego Costa are also represented by the Portuguese agent and, together, those three would make up an impressive attack.
    James Rodriguez, now at Bayern Munich, would be the playmaker, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria, Barcelona’s Andre Gomes and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva making up another formidable midfield.
    David de Gea would start in goal, while Mendes could line up with Pepe (now at Besiktas), Monaco’s talented right-back Fabinho and City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi in defence, with Valencia’s Ezequiel Garay another alternative.
    Overall, the Mendes’ XI probably has the edge in defence, but these are two tremendous teams that would be the envy of many club sides. And although it will never happen, a Raiola XI against a Mendes XI would be some match.

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