Jorge Mendes’ empire in danger? The biggest agency in the world arrives in Portugal

Stellar ICM

Jonathan Barnett

ICM Stellar Sports, considered the largest football agency in the world, has opened an office in Porto, with the aim of dominating the Portuguese market.

With a portfolio of more than 800 players, valued at a total of 1.4 billion euros, Stellar ICM wants to “hunt for young talent” and take advantage of “the country’s tradition of exporting good players to everyone”. The company manages the careers of players such as Gareth Bale, Jack Greish or Eduardo Camavinga.

“We don’t just want to deal with contracts. We look after the well-being of athletes throughout their careers and make sure they retire safely and don’t end up bankrupt,” he said. Jonathan Barnett, CEO of the company, quoted by Jornal de Notícias.

In Portugal, several footballers have the confidence of Jorge Mendes, who is considered by some to be the greatest entrepreneurial athlete in the world. Barnett is unimpressed with the Portuguese superagent.

“George who? Sorry, never heard of”, the leader of ICM Stellar told Diário de Notícias. “If you look at the magazine Forbes, sees the name Jonathan Barnett as the number 1 agent in world football. And I usually don’t look down.”

“What attracts us to the Portuguese market is the quality of its young footballers. Our agency specializes in recruiting young players and supporting them throughout their career. And for a company that’s the largest in the world, it’s important to have representation in that market. Portugal has training academies which are among the best, they produce players who can play anywhere in the world,” the Briton added.

Despite the opening of a new office in Porto, the bet in Portugal is not new. The company has been working in Portugal for at least five years, working with Clemente Araújo and Artur Fernandes.

There are already 44 Portuguese players that are part of the ICM Stellar portfolio. Young people stand out Tiago Gouveia (SL Benfica), Vasco Sousa (FC Porto) and Bernardo Vital (Estoril).

“We want to be number 1 in Portugal, maybe not in two or three years, maybe it takes a little longer, you have to be realistic, but that’s why we came. I will not compete with Jorge and Jorge will not compete with me. There is enough market for everyone. If we come to the same player, it’s the player’s decision,” Barnett explained.

The Englishman also stressed that Portuguese clubs will continue to ‘sell well’, but he doubts that, for example, Benfica will sell Darwin Nuñez for €100m.

Daniel Costa, ZAP //

Leave a Comment