At 28, Edoardo Crnjar is one of the most powerful men in the European transfer market but he has had an unusual transition from selling cars to mediating perhaps the biggest player transfer of 2019.
Earlier this week, Edoardo Crnjar nicknamed the “Baby Agent” because of his youth mediated a sensational the six-month loan deal for his long-time client Kevin-Prince Boateng from Italian Serie A minnows Sassuolo to Spanish giants Barcelona.
However, before the man with movie star looks and a Croatian surname came to represent elite footballers such as Samuel Eto’O, Boateng, Alberto Aquilani, Loic Remy, Mubarak Wakaso and Inter star Kwadwo Asamoah he worked at a car dealership which belonged to his ex-girlfriend’s father in Milan.
It was at this dealership where he first nurtured a relationship with Inter star Sulley Muntari who frequented the establishment.
“I was working in the Mercedes dealer of my ex-girlfriend’s father. Here I met and became friends with famous footballers including Muntari,” Crnjar said in an interview with Marca.
“From that moment on I began to maintain relationships with other players, and I gained the confidence. Later on Eto’o, Boateng and others came. I started strong, taking Muntari from Inter to Milan, I asked for help from Federico Pastorello (Antonio Conte’s agent, one of the strong men in Italy), I was not going to negotiate.”
Aged just 21 at the time and used to selling Mercedes and Fiat vehicles, his first major transfer was the move by Muntari from Inter to AC Milan in first on-loan in January 2012 and later on a permanent basis.
Then came associations with another Milan-based player Boateng whom he has represented since he left Milan for German side Schalke 04 in August 2013.
He has since represented other Ghanaian players including Mubarak Wakaso and Kwadow Asamoah.
“I am the first fan of my players and my footballers are my first fans,” he said.
“Without the help of my players, I would not be here, it’s my players who have made me their representative, not the other way around, Muntari or Boateng made it very easy for me, they opened many doors for me, we have a relationship that goes beyond For example, I am Boateng’s best man and his son’s best man”.
Over the past three seasons windows, the vast majority of his trades have been in Spain particularly the Canary Islands club of Las Palmas. He was behind the acquisitions of Loic Remy and former Liverpool star Alberto Aquilani by the Spanish La Liga team.
The smooth operator has also in the past represented Patrice Evra, Thiago Silva, Christian Chivu and Stephan El-Sharaawy.
In the last few months, he has also started to represent the coaches including Quique Setien, the coach of Real Betis.
Interestingly, Crnjar who turns 29 this year credits a bit of his success as an intermediary to his youth.
“Being so young I can work 20 hours, there is no one at home waiting for me or anything else in my head to work, I get 180 flights a year, I go home one day a week, I hope I have the energy to put up a lot of time like this. the only way to be close to the players and the clubs, to get results, I’m not important, the only way is to work “.