Wagner Ribeiro: I tried to send Neymar to Real Madrid
The super agent discussed everything from the Kaka deal to Neymar from Santos and why Robinho wanted to leave Real Madrid with Chelsea lurking.Champions League Final: Real Madrid - Liverpool
Wagner Ribeiro, an agent with one of the best reputations in world football, has managed transfers and dealings with Neymar, Robinho, Lucas Moura, Lucas Lima and Gabigol. It was the transfer of Kaka to Europe, however, that was the worst he has managed as a super agent, and ironically the Brazilian is the only one, to date, to have won a Ballon d'Or. "The worst negotiation in terms of possible business was Kaka. He was sold for €8.5 million to AC Milan in 2003. He had a short time left on his contract and there were certain things he had in his hands. Sao Paulo didn't have a percentage for the player and he was crazy to go to Europe," admits Wagner in an interview in UOL.
It was also during the chat that Ribeiro took the time to confirm that he is not longer representing Neymar. The agent who helped him to leave Santos and set sail for Euope and the east coast of Spain leaves the player in the hands of his Father. "I am no longer Neymar's agent. It's his Father now. But's it's true that we do work together because we are close by. I was his agent since he was 12 and I negotiated two contracts for him with Santos. But when he grew up, his Father took control of everything through his companies," says Ribeiro.
Despite the breakdown in a professional aspect of the relationship, Ribeiro says his relationship with the family remains good, "Neymar is like a son to me. His Father is trustworthy and I like and respect him."
Ribeiro does not hide the fact that he was keen to bring Neymar to Real Madrid but nobody could get the idea of Barcelona out of his head. "I took proposals from Chelsea and Real Madrid to Santos. I wanted him to go to Real Madrid and I have always said that. It was a good proposal economically and the best for Santos. It was the best for the player too. But he decided to go to Barcelona because it was the team of his heart."
The agent also reveals why Robinho left Real Madrid, "Robinho was in a wonderful moment at Madrid, he was the player of the moment. Creating and scoring goals. The problem is that an offer came in from Chelsea. And as he was on less than Zidane and Ronaldo, I started to fight with Real Madrid to pay him the same as the English club, which was three times as much. In the end, Madrid accepted to match Chelsea but then Manchester City came in."