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Football super-agent Mendes moves into cycling with Almeida and Guerreiro deal

LAGHI DI CANCANO ITALY OCTOBER 22 Start Joao Almeida of Portugal and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Pink Leader Jersey Ruben Guerreiro of Portugal and Team EF Pro Cycling Blue Mountain Jersey during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 18 a 207km stage from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio 1945m girodiitalia Giro on October 22 2020 in Laghi di Cancano Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Almeida and Guerreiro at the start of stage 18 of the 2020 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Football super-agent Jorge Mendes has made a foray into the world of cycling with his sports marketing company Polaris Sports partnering with João Correia's Corso Sports.

The deal means that Portuguese riders João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Rubén Guerreiro (EF Education-Nippo) will be promoted by Polaris.

Mendes is one of the famed 'super-agents' in the world of football, representing Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, manager José Mourinho and Everton star James Rodriguez, while being heavily involved in teams such as Wolverhampton Wanderers, Monaco and Atletico Madrid via his GestiFute company. He also represents stars of other sports, including F1 driver Charles Leclerc.

Corso, meanwhile, represents a swathe of talented young riders throughout the pro peloton, including 2019 world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), Tour de France stage winner Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM), and time trial specialist Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates).

"Polaris Sports and Corso have just established a partnership agreement which aims to optimise the commercial perspectives of Portuguese athletes that work with [Corso] in an association that is expected to be fruitful and successful," read a press release issued by Polaris.

Almeida and Guerreiro, who, like several other Corso clients, both came through the ranks at Hagens Berman Axeon, were breakout stars at the 2020 Giro d'Italia. Almeida, a neo-pro last season, held the maglia rosa for two weeks, only ceding it on the Stelvio on stage 17 before finishing fourth in Milan. Guerreiro, meanwhile, won the blue mountains jersey and won stage 9 to Roccaraso.

After a stellar season, Guerreiro suffered a scary end to 2020 after being hit by a motorist while out training last week. The 26-year-old suffered a fracture clavicle and will undergo surgery.

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Daniel joined Cyclingnews as staff writer in August 2019 after working as a freelance journalist for seven years, including time spent working for Cyclingnews and sister magazine, Procycling.