How half of the biggest deals in Brazilian football ended up in the hands of two agentsEnglish 

How half of the biggest deals in Brazilian football ended up in the hands of two agents

Cury and Bertolucci ended up becoming creditors of several clubs, such as Flamengo, Cruzeiro, Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo, Galo and Inter.

Football entrepreneur André Cury, 51, even tried to pursue a university career in the 1990s. He studied law at PUC-SP for a while but ended up leaving college out of necessity and a profession. He had to work and at the same time find a way that would approach him with a great passion: football.

It was then that Cury became an employee of the representative office of IMC Nissan, the businessman J. Hawilla in which he was a regular. Hawilla (died in 2018) ran Traffic, a sports marketing company that also began managing football players and had its founder involved in corruption before he died. Cury, at the time, became an assistant to Hawilla.

At the same time, Cury used his experience with the entrepreneur, in contact with big names in the segment at the time, like Juan Figer (died 2021), Francisco Todé and Gilmar Veloz, still active, to work together as a child. his. friend, Giuliano Bertolucci, in the transfer of young players, then unknown to the public, to alternative markets in Europe. The task was to try to put these athletes in “good deals”.

Cury and Bertolucci met when they were boys, about 9 years old, when they played basketball in Pinheiros and Esperia, in São Paulo. Currently, they are the two leading sports agents in Brazil, participating in at least 50% of the largest transfers of players abroad, in the last ten years, with incalculable financial movements.

Among the three biggest negotiations in football history, Cury participated in two. And he says it with pride. “Being in this business requires a lot of work and a lot of contacts. Thus grew up as an entrepreneur. I acted in the negotiations that took Neymar from Barcelona to PSG, with 222 million euros, being the biggest transfer of all time. And I was also an agent in the transfer of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona, ​​for 165 million euros. “I simply did not take part in the second biggest, which was the transfer of Mbappa from Monaco to PSG, for 180 million euros”, he says.

Bertolucci, considered by many to be the most influential agent today, works with a significant number of players, such as David Luiz, Marquinhos, Thiago Mendes, Oscar, Willian and Paulinho (both in the Corinthians), as representatives and mediators. of negotiations. Cury also represents and mediates, a practice that often makes two friends, who today own individual companies, work in partnership.



Bertolucci’s father-in-law, Antônio Duarte Ferreira, known as Seu Duarte, was then the owner of Euro Export, which controlled Juventus’ youth teams in the São Paulo neighborhood of Mooca. “I have always been passionate about football. I went to every game, even the ones that were not on my team. He was also passionate about the Brazilian team. In 1992 I started working with Bertolucci, my childhood friend, and Duarten, his father-in-law, on Euro Export. At the same time, I met J. Hawilla and participated in the first years of Traffic, gaining experience and getting better acquainted with this sector “, he says.

The activity, although still in its infancy, introduced them to the international market. It was a leap into the profession. “It was an initial stage, but it paid off for Brazilian football. “We negotiated players who were later created, such as Deco, Thiago Motta, defenders Alex (formerly Santos) and Luisão, in addition to a few others who also pursued their careers, such as Peixinho, Ângelo and Gaúcho.”

Cury and Bertolucci are symbols of a new era in football, since the creation of the Premier League and Champions League in 1992, and the end of the so-called transition to football, with the 1995 Bosnian Law. are most of the club’s assets and have a fixed-term contract, thus taking control of their path in football. The change made many entrepreneurs have more autonomy and strength in transactions. Cury and Bertolucci saw the gap.

Leagues made championships more dynamic and profitable, with a new model for negotiating royalties and broadcasts. The end of the pass allowed the players to leave the clubs more easily, greatly increasing the number of transfers.


In his master’s thesis in Management, from the University Institute of Lisbon, Luís Emanuel de Capelo Osório Saraiva has already discovered this trend in 2011. “It was found that the average values ​​(transfers) practiced in the market increased four times, “between 1983 and 2010, as well as the number of traded players increased tenfold”, he wrote in his paper, comparing the years 1983 and 2010.


With this vision, Cury and Bertolucci gained territory among agents, to the point that Cury acted as Barcelona’s representative in South America between 2003 and 2020. “I did map work for the Spanish club, also helping with transfers. But through the contract I have always had the autonomy to carry out my activities as a businessman. It was an unforgettable experience, coexistence with the best, participation in the negotiations that brought Ronaldinho, Deko, Neymar, among others, with 40 titles won, making many contacts and getting acquainted with the management of the biggest club in the world “, States. .

Cury says he currently works with about 220 players. A large part of the squad of some Brazilian clubs has players represented by him. In Palmeiras, there are seven, including Raphael Veiga, Dudu and Piquerez. At Atlético-MG, there are eight, including Guilherme Arana and Keno. He also mediated the arrival of Chilean Vargas at the Minas Gerais club. Along with Bertolucci, he played in Martinelli’s transfer from Ituano to Arsenal, considered the biggest negotiation in São Paulo’s domestic history.


“Of course I have participated in more than a thousand negotiations during my career. “This is taking into account the times when I worked in Traffic (now TFM), from 2007 to 2011. Now I have a company, whose only partner is me”, he says referring to Link Assessoria Esportiva.

Bertolucci, who did not answer questions from Estadão, also represents hundreds of Brazilian players scattered around the world major leagues, such as Matheus Cunha, Bruno Guimarães, Danilo (Palmeiras), David Neres, Igor Gomes and Andreas Pereira.

When analyzing changes in the football scenario in recent decades, businessman Décio Berman notes the increase in competition due to globalization as one of the factors. “Many aspects have changed. The speed and quality of the flow of information and data has greatly increased, as has competition with players from other countries and continents such as Africans, South Americans and Asians. On the other hand, there is a larger volume of money for transfers and employment contracts. “The business environment is increasingly demanding,” he said.


Aware that at the moment, European clubs are looking for very young Brazilian players, monitoring them from the basic categories, Cury set up a new business platform, Under Sports, which aims only to work with athletes in training, to be traded from the age of 18 years. In this initiative, he shares the partnership with Berman and Francisco Godoy.


“Because of this new market dynamic, we decided to create Under Sports, specializing in advising families of young talent who are in full training,” notes Berman.


Both Cury and Bertolucci ended up becoming creditors of several clubs, such as Flamengo, Cruzeiro, Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo, Atlético-MG and Inter-RS. Cury went to court against some of them, like Atlético-MG, for debt settlement. The total outstanding amount of clubs with two entrepreneurs is between R $ 100 million and R $ 200 million.

“These debts are the result of poor management by the clubs themselves. The problem in Brazil is that these entities work without a budget. Some, like Flamengo, Athletico-PR and Grêmio, are changing that. But this one inside and outside the presidents ends by passing the problem from one to the other. It should be like in European clubs, where there is hereditary responsibility for the manager. “With the transformation of some teams into SAF (Sociedad Anónima do Futebol), the tendency is to have a more professional administration, which will be good for everyone,” says Cury.

The businessman denies that with the debts of the clubs there will be interference in the administration of the entities. “I do not interfere in anything in any way. I do not even want to have that power. For me debt is not good. And they are even worse when the club does not pay me. I also have a company and I depend on planning, on earning receivables. Otherwise, I may face difficulties as well. “My company does not owe anyone and it is a problem when a supplier or customer does not pay on time”, he emphasizes.

For Cury, the fact that both he and Bertolucci – focus a large part of the negotiations of the Brazilian players is the result of intensive work. “We sat in the seat of the plane, that’s all. The secret is the work, it goes after, it is to see up close what is happening to a player. It’s not just a transfer and that’s it. “When we are representatives, we must be together, give support, work in all fields, economic, legal and marketing”, he learns.

Unlike many young people who were frustrated by not being players, Cury says he has fulfilled a dream of becoming an agent. The passion for football has not diminished, but only transformed. He does not deny that he still specifically follows his team, the Corinthians. “Yes, I continue to follow the Corinthians as a fan. I do not twist like before, he is sitting. “I am from Corinthians, but I have to root for the players I represent,” he added.

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