At the moment, the Brazilian real is very weak compared with the euro and dollar. $1 is 6 reais now. So you’re talking 6,000 reais for a flight. It’s so expensive. We can now be much more selective about when we need to travel because with TransferRoom we have a bigger network. This is a very unique moment.
A money saving platform
A recent study by FIFA into a decade of transfer dealings had Brazilian players coming out overwhelmingly on top when it came to moving clubs. Indeed between 2012 and 2021, over 15,000 Brazilians moved between clubs in different countries, followed by Argentinian (7,444), British (5,523), French (5,027) and Colombian footballers (4,287).
Brazil is comfortably the biggest exporter of footballers worldwide, and the Marcio Bittencourt Sports agency has established itself as the biggest player in that market since launching in 1999.
That has meant spending a lot of money travelling the globe and missing out on valuable family time. By joining TransferRoom, the agency is redressing the balance.
Bittencourt (pictured right with colleagues Rodrigo Rodrigues and Henrique Spetseri) tells TransferRoom: “This business is all about connections, connections, connections. But it has also meant travel, travel, and more travel. That’s the way we have survived in this crazy market.
“It’s much easier now with TransferRoom to show our players. We can reach many more clubs, without the necessity to travel. I can shop my players here and if the clubs like them, then immediately they can contact us. It is a shortcut to connect with the clubs. Before, we had to travel to face-to-face meetings for people to get to know you. Now with this technology it’s much easier to meet people. TransferRoom is a wonderful platform to become closer with all these clubs.”
Brazil has been one of the countries most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and that has curtailed Marcio Bittencourt Sports’ agents from travelling quite so much over the past 18 months.
But that wasn’t always the case. Bittencourt himself averages around 10 international trips per year, breaking a personal record in 2017.
He reflects: “I had 11 international trips that year, and remember Brazil is a minimum 11 hours from Europe, the US is eight hours away, Asia is 23 hours, Dubai is 15 hours from Brazil. Then there’s the time difference and the jet lag is crazy.
“Plus of course there’s the sheer cost. At the moment, the Brazilian real is very weak compared with the euro and dollar. $1 is 6 reais now. So you’re talking 6,000 reais for a flight. It’s so expensive.
“We can now be much more selective about when we need to travel because with TransferRoom we have a bigger network. This is a very unique moment.”
Global deal making
As well as over 100 domestic deals, Marcio Bittencourt Sports has this year moved 35 Brazilian players to all corners of the world, including the likes of Rodrigo Pinho to Portuguese giants Benfica, Lourency to Turkish club Goztepe, Pedro Raul to Juarez in Mexico, and Heron to Velje Boldklub in Denmark.
Bittencourt says 95% of the transfer deals involving his agency’s clients have traditionally needed a third party, and therefore the sharing of commissions. With direct information on clubs wants and needs, that may start to change.
He explains: “For us it is no worries to share commission. They know the language, know which clubs are serious and can look after our players. We sold a player, Pinho, to Benfica, and we used a Portuguese agent who is our friend. He is based in Lisbon, knows the club, could certify that the player was ok. With the pandemic and the fact we can’t travel, he assisted with the deal. It’s been the same for deals in Turkey, Korea, Japan.
“Of course if we can do something directly, then financially it’s much better. TransferRoom can help us with that because we are marketing our company, and making shortcuts for clubs to know our players.”
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