“TALENT is only 40% of the job.”
An interview with FIFA Licensed Agent, Dani Infante
Modern football has placed enormous demands on footballers, which aren’t only physical but also mental. Problems, dilemmas, anxiety about the future of the individual’s career, financial uncertainty, insecurity, etc. are just some of the problems that footballers have to face, especially those that fall into the category of semi-pro or lower pro tier football, where the situation is even more unstable and players many times cannot solely rely on a football team to finance themselves and their families.
That is where a football agent/agency, or better said, a football intermediary, can provide valuable help to the individual in different areas that include player management and marketing.
In this article, we interviewed a FIFA Licensed Football Intermediary, Agent Dani Infante, asking him some of the most common questions you requested on our Instagram (@footxfit).
FXF: Hello Dani, thank you once again for the interview! It’s so nice to see you helping out footballers across the world! Take a moment and introduce yourself to the FootXFit community.
Dani: Hey man, thank you for inviting me, it’s a pleasure for me. For those who don’t know me, my name is Daniel Infante, I’m a football agent based in Spain and one of the main things I do is provide young football players with the opportunity to come to Spain and try out in professional Spanish football clubs.
FXF: How can someone become a football agent?
Dani; There’s not just one way to do it. Years ago, you were supposed to study to become one. Most federations had a program already prepared for you to become a football agent with tests, interviews, proof of some certifications, amongst others. Three years ago, FIFA delegalized the figure of “football agent”, being now called intermediaries, making all those regulations from the federations partially useless. If you ask my opinion, FIFA should legalize the figure of football agent again, the industry needs constant professionalization.
FXF; How can a player network in the football world?
Dani: There are millions of ways, a player needs to be present, proactive, but the most important thing is hard work that will later translate into shining on the football field; this is going to open up all the doors for you! In the current times, people aren’t completely conscious of the power they have in their hands with their smartphones. LinkedIn and Instagram, for example, are extremely powerful networking tools.
FXF: What are the things you look out for in a player you’re about to manage?
Dani: Potential comes without saying but on top of that, I need to be able to see that the player has the right mindset. Becoming professional is not only about talent. For me, talent actually is only 40% of the job and I always say this. The rest is all about resilience, hard work, the right environment, the right professionals supporting them, and obsessiveness with improvement. If a player has that, he’s way closer to the goal than anyone else.
FXF: What’s the oldest player you’ve worked with that managed to get a pro contract?
Dani: The oldest player I represent is only 23. I’ve focused on young talents a lot during the last three years. However, once I brought a player -even against my own recommendation- for a tryout that was 26, great soul, but his time had passed, he wasn’t even in the top 10 on the field.
FXF: In your point of view, which country offers the best playing opportunities?
Dani: That depends on the type of player. Not every single player has the level to be able to play here in Spain, nor England, Italy, or Germany. I believe every country has something to offer. It’s a matter of the player to realize what’s the best suitable style of play for him to get developed and what level he is. If the player doesn’t have the knowledge, he should find someone that can help him.
FXF: Do I have to pay an agent myself?
Dani: Contractual relationship between an agent and a player is like any other legal bond between two private parties. Anything can be signed if both parties agree. Having said that, the conventionalism in the industry is that an agent charges a player a percentage of the contract he got for him, usually between 10-30%.
FXF: What should I prioritize when I’m choosing a new team?
Dani: DEVELOPMENT. Football players need to realize they have one of the shortest professional careers ever, that’s why they always need to be in a place that allows them to grow, not only in their capacities but also in their exposure. Time flies, especially between 16-23.
FXF: What is a pro contract like?
Dani: Pro contracts are complicated, you need a legal background or a lawyer to help you with them. People usually believe it’s only about the contract duration, the salary, and the bonuses but it’s much more than that. It involves taxes, player obligations, club obligations, and much much more.
FXF: How much does a player get paid at the pro level (minimum)?
Dani: Depends on the division and country. In Spain, if you’re in a good U19 team or 3rd division team, the minimums usually are full accommodation plus little money.
FXF: Will the team I trial for cover my expenses?
Dani: Usually they don’t, not only here, but in every developed football country. Clubs are not throwing money around unless you have been scouted before or coming highly recommended and/or you have a great CV on your back.
FXF: Do I need a Highlight Tape and CV?
FXF: Thank you for the interview Dani, it was a pleasure!
Dani: Thank you for the invite man, I’m always here to help out!
Dani Infante is a FIFA Licensed football agent aka intermediary and lawyer, based in Spain. He is also the CEO & founder of Elite I. Football Management, helping players from around the world get a chance to play professional football in Spain. If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about Dani and his services, feel free to message him on Instagram. Here’s a link to his profile where you can find more details about him (click here)!
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