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27-Jun-2018 09:15

Many might not like the way in which Mendes works, but he gets things done.

There is the feeling in some quarters that "Mendes became so big, important and influential that players are only picked for Portugal if they are Mendes' players or with his agreement," notes Pereira, but his flagship clients continue to speak for him, without even opening their mouths.

Having been introduced to Mendes through mutual friends, the pair became close and when Nuno got ready to negotiate a transfer to Deportivo La Coruna in January 1997, he asked Mendes to act for him.

The benefit Nuno talks of receiving from the relationship is one that you hear again and again from Mendes' clients.

The club helped him to cultivate friendships with people involved with football in the region, and one of those friendships put him on an unlikely path to fortune.

Nuno Espirito Santo -- or just Nuno, as he's known in Portugal -- was the goalkeeper for Vitoria Guimaraes.

In an investigative piece for The Guardian last year, David Conn wrote that Mendes acknowledged being involved with an astonishing 68 percent of transfers involving os tres grandes (the big three of Porto, Sporting and Benfica) from 2001 to 2010.Instead, Mendes looked to carve out a future in business.He opened a video store and then a beach bar before buying a nightclub in the Caminha district, where he DJed from time to time.In fact, in a football economy in which large-scale selling is a simple fact of life, many revel in a Portuguese being so powerful on the world stage."The general feeling about Jorge Mendes is that he is extremely competent," Lisbon-based journalist Rui Matos Pereira told ESPN FC.

In an investigative piece for The Guardian last year, David Conn wrote that Mendes acknowledged being involved with an astonishing 68 percent of transfers involving os tres grandes (the big three of Porto, Sporting and Benfica) from 2001 to 2010.

Instead, Mendes looked to carve out a future in business.

He opened a video store and then a beach bar before buying a nightclub in the Caminha district, where he DJed from time to time.

In fact, in a football economy in which large-scale selling is a simple fact of life, many revel in a Portuguese being so powerful on the world stage.

"The general feeling about Jorge Mendes is that he is extremely competent," Lisbon-based journalist Rui Matos Pereira told ESPN FC.

Two others from Mendes' Gestifute stable, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira, followed, while Mendes also brokered moves for Deco (to Barcelona) and Pedro Mendes (Tottenham) as the Dragoes' Champions League-winning side was immediately broken up.