Jorge Mendes is one of the most powerful people in the world of football. His influence over some of the biggest clubs in the world is well known, however he has not been able to make his mark on FC Barcelona.
The Catalan club’s interest in Valencia right-back Joao Cancelo, though, who is represented by Mendes, could open the Camp Nou door to the Portuguese super agent, who is a close friend of Cristiano Ronaldo.
In recent years, the relationship between the world’s most important agent, his company Gestifute and Barça has been practically non-existent. But things had been very different in the past.
In fact, Barça and Mendes were strongly linked once, especially between 2003 and 2009. He was a personal friend of Sandro Rosell, who he knew from his time as a representative of Nike in Brazilian and Portuguese football. Thanks to the relationship between the two, Barça signed players such as Ronaldinho, Deco, Rafa Marquez and Quaresma, all of whom signed with a Mendes seal.
After Rosell’s resignation in 2005, the good relationship with Barça and then president Joan Laporta remained. However, in 2009, there was a point of inflexion which cooled the dealings between both parties. Mendes’ decision to take Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, in place of the Catalan club, was supposedly the detonator.
Since then, the Portuguese has used Los Blancos as the base of his operations. Not just to place his other star players, like Angel Di Maria, Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho, but also to move Jose Mourinho to the club, which improved the nature of his dealings in the Spanish capital.
Mourinhos’s exit from Madrid, therefore, had an effect on Medes’ dealings with the club. He was no longer considered a protected species in and around the Santiago Bernabeu.
Between December 2013 and January 2014, before Sandro Rosell resigned as president, Mendes moved closer to Camp Nou once again to the point that he even flirted with the club and offered them Ronaldo.
And his name was once again related to Barça during last year’s election campaign after he met with Joan Laporta.
The club’s interest in Cancelo, one of Mendes’ top clients at the moment, could see one of the most influential men in world football back in the Catalan capital after several years away. Just as his relationship with Madrid is at its lowest ebb.