1999. Sandor VARGA and Arsene WENGER. Photo from archive “SE”

Famous football agent Shandor Varga is engaged in employment of players and coaches for 22 years.

Of course, during this time, he had accumulated many interesting stories.

In the beginning of the interview are going to ask Sandor Varga on the number of passports he laughs. This person has prepared a story to any question.

Raises finger:

– My granddaughter Sofia five nationalities!

We do not believe, look at each other and Varga triumphs:

– My wife Larisa – Muscovite. I am the Hungarian. Then the daughter – the Hungarian and Russian. Have two citizenship. She was married for Tristan, whose mother is French and her father American. Four citizenship. Well granddaughter was born in Sainte-Marie.

Is England?

London. There are all Windsors are born!

– Cool.

But it’s not because I am rich…

– Then why?

– That apartment we bought ten years ago. To Saint-Marie, a five minute walk. No one thought that this will be the light of our Sofia. Clearly, the British offered her citizenship. Here’s my photo in the phone – a year and a half playing with all five passports.

– You 63?

Yes. Old-old…

– In which aspects you feel that 63 is a lot?

– When the daughter said, “Dad, you’re not 25!”

– When you feel young?

– When you play with her granddaughter. Watch football. Around me is always something going on!

– How to Allergy-then football is not there.

– What are you! Football is love. I don’t root for teams. Football for me is when Cristiano Ronaldo helps injured Cavani to leave the field. Here it is – the Holy idea of Coubertin and the ancient Greeks. Put down the weapons and compete. To hug the winner. Maybe I’m a romantic. But I like this.


– Once I had a talk with Paulo Barbosa. He said: “I’m not looking for clients. Modify those who remained, new I don’t need”. New you’re looking for?

– Also no!

Are they looking for you?

– That’s nice – now I was approached by 17-year-old player, very gifted. Probably, we will cooperate. The beauty of my job is to find young talent and help reveal. I don’t sell players, it is he sells himself to his game. I merely serve it. I was lucky in life – he was familiar with Emile Osteraker…

Agent Puskas?

Yes. He taught this philosophy. No license FIFA did not exist. But the agents of the players themselves was necessary. Can you recommend any player – if the agent says, “I sell you”, run away quickly.

– Here is how?

– Yes! Even worse when the agent offers the player: “I pay nothing”. Here we have to give sprint!

– Any examples?

– Please. I became the agent of the defender of the national team of Hungary tamás kádár. I was approached by the President of the Federation: “Help to Tamas, is the most valuable of our players…” all Right, meet. I know that once he had to move to the Bundesliga: “the Coach wanted me to do, clubs agreed. Suddenly getting a physical. Something found in the knee, although no problem was not with him at all.” I ask you guys – what do you think happened?

– Is not present.

The agent paid the doctor that was the diagnosis. But Kadar was not in this club.

– A foreign agent?

– The agent of Kadar! Representing his interests!

– We I don’t believe it.

– I’ll tell you. This is illustration to my words. From the management agent required some amount – they did not agree. And then he broke the deal.

– What is the.

The player was a good coach too. As two clubs. Only an agent. I Kadar asked: “You paid him?” “No” “That’s why it was better to give a sprint from this agent. Tamas is not forbidden to think…”

– How came to light the story?

– I told Kadar. How did you know he is not aware of. With that agent, of course, broke up. Unfortunately, in this area a lot of people who do not love football, and money.

– A well-known agent told us: “Between me and the player, no contract, all on parole and the handshake”.

I work in the same way. Yes, as Director of Base Soccer in Eastern Europe already have to sign papers. But my principles have not changed! If you’re not an idiot, and Sandor makes you the contracts better and better – why wouldn’t he pay? However, for such a philosophy need to Excel, it works well on long distance. Novice agents, this can fail. You are flying, sit on the negotiations, living in a hotel… No deal, no money.

– Any agent, working without papers, at least once, but “threw”.

– Of course!

– How to “Scam” you?

– All the same. Forgot to pay. Nothing to worry about!

– And someone paid five years later. As Sergey Nagornyak.

– Yes, Yes! I was stunned. Suddenly a call from the player tells you that he wants to return the money.

– How much?

– 30 thousand dollars.

– Where owed?

– I tried to get him to a “Sheffield Wednesday”. David Platt was through. Sergei it did not work out – soon went to China. Have already paid out. But not everything was like Nagornyak.

– How much the other owe you?

– Ah, nonsense! I don’t like about the film to say. Christian to relate to this. Let go of the sins let go of me. That to dwell on the trouble? Thank God, I have so much positive in life!

Clients you left?

– Sometimes.

– Sorry?

– No.

– I do not believe.

– I say: “you refused.” Yes it is their right! Do not take offense! Here’s the story – Khacheridi. Somehow sitting at Igor Surkis, comes Eugene with Goloveshek. Look – hiding from me!

– Golovashov is the agent?

Yes. I find it funny: “Eugene, it’s your choice. I wish you success, no problems!” And shook his hand. If you think that the other agent will help you more – please. If a player is disappointed in me – I have no right to be offended. When wondering who my clients say, “No, ask the players who their agent.”


– You said that football is love. What memorable moments brighter than others?

In 2003, Shevchenko plays in the Champions League final with Juventus. Penalties – Andrew scored decisive. Two years later AC Milan again in the final, leading Liverpool 3-0 in the first half! How ended the game?

– 3:3.

In the penalty shoot – out, Shevchenko scored and Liverpool won the Cup. Here’s the backstory. At the time I lived in Monaco. Often came to visit Sheva, to him for half an hour by car. Semi-final “Liverpool” – “Chelsea” looked together at the restaurant. Kakha Kaladze, Sheva, my family… Andrew was rooting for Liverpool!

How is that found?

– “What a nice team! Want to meet her in the final. Gerrard – it’s gold! But man what is…” in five Days I saw Steve, told how Shevchenko praised him. Guys!


– I beg you – please reconsider the ending of 2005. Here Dudek reflects the impact of Sheba, the players of “Liverpool” run to the goalkeeper, arrange a bunch of little… And Gerrard is unfolding, coming to Shevchenko and hugs.

– Have come through.

– Yes, very few people noticed. That’s it for me – football!

– Something about the penalty Shevchenko told you?

– “Sandor, took a run and felt on each foot 100 pound weight…” Struck quite feeble! Was wrong even Shevchenko.

– You are watching the football – and immediately figure out what could be the pitfalls in working with him?

– Of course. This Wenger taught. Once I suggested to Arsenal Luzhny. Arsene said, “He drinks vodka!”

Oh, my God.

– Later realized – was just testing me. And then I was embarrassed and fell silent. He continues: “This is your client – and don’t know?!” – “No” – “And with his family you know?” “No.”

– Delicious dialogue.

– Wenger was amazed: “What do you for agent?!”

– What, in your opinion, where is the football?

– I think football is moving in the wrong direction. Suffer the coaches, the players. Of the players is more than I can give. Not Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo every 3-4 days to do the miracle. Not so much to play at this level, killed the football! Matches start at 12.00: “Television is beneficial”. All money, money, money. “More, More, more!” I think Messi does not love his country? Yes, it all fees are given only to become a world champion!


– You have long been familiar with Arsene Wenger…

– Arsene usually enough five minutes, so as to understand everything about the player. Remember, he’s watching the Champions League U-19. Grabs the phone, me: “Zinchenko!” Say: “Sorry, Arsene, I’ll call you back”. Start feverishly to find out what kind Zinchenko such. Gain Wenger five minutes later, he says: “Stand at the field, “miner” us carries face. A guy was there in the lineup! I see he is not eighteen. Can find and say that it wants to “Arsenal”? Just add – Arsen I am not a youth team will be next week to play me.”

Well Zinchenko’s not “Arsenal”?

– Around it was, unfortunately, a lot of agents and advisors. They slowed down the move to England for three years. But Arsene then sent an invitation to the whole family! I have this letter I can show you.

Zinchenko would show.

– Showed. Him and his parents. Sasha-I would be glad to leave already. Not given.

– Dad was against it?

– No dad, “dad.” A solid film all around.

On your memory agents have buried his career?

– The story with the same Kadar. Which five years ago was waiting for a bright career in the Bundesliga. A year and a half ago, he moved to Dynamo and it wasn’t easy. Say: “Here’s the phone Rebrov. Call!” Kadar was taken aback.

– So it is not accepted?

Is not the word! Most of all, the agent is resistant to a direct contact of a player with the club. Because he may be poor, they will agree without it. And I’m giving the player the coach’s phone!


For me the most important is that the player has heard from coach, needed it or not. If the coach is not waiting for you, no matter how good the business did not seem to transition you in the team will ruin. In any case it is impossible to go there! Kadar looks at me: “I have these crazy agents have not met…”

– Did you call?

Yes. Kadar was often placed as left-back. He doesn’t like this position. You said – you’re going to play in the center. That was the most important conversation! After it, the work involved I already. Though I suddenly started calling other agents – from Israel, Russia, Germany, Estonia…

– What you want?

– To make this transition. One said to me: “I’ll Give you 10 thousand dollars, just get out”. Ha ha!

You, an elite agent.

– Now, they say, coffee on your 10 thousand – and immediately disappear. Further a new complexity – “Leh” for which he played Kadar, can’t agree with “Dynamo”. Tamas already worried: “what’s the problem?” He wants to Kiev after talks with Rebrov!

– How to correct?

– Answer: “Here’s the phone Igor Surkis. Tell the President, “Lech”. May directly communicate. Again – any agent will not do so! And I know one or the other. These people deal in five minutes. If the player is satisfied he will pay me, right?

– And failed?

Yes. The issue was resolved immediately. Another interesting point. I often attended the morning session, hear how to Arsen approached the scout, reported 10-15 players: “This for the club they played that differently.” Every day!

– How much Arsenal have such scouts?

– 8 in the state and 30 more around the world…


– On the client-coaches that tell us?

– My client, Serhiy Rebrov now finished the championship in second place, behind by a point from the first – fired! The fact that in Saudi Arabia all based on emotions. By the way, still beat the Arabs money for Sergei Rebrov. The same thing happened in Istanbul, when he was still in Fenerbahce played. Nothing, two years later, the Turks are fully paid. This is my concern.

– To your customers about booze, the heads of the clubs claims are made?

– There was a moment with Rebrov.

– So-so.

– Sergey arrived in Kazan, the players looked at him as an icon. Scored goals, “Rubin” became the champion. Everything is fine! But somehow defeated “Zenit” – 3:1. Maybe even on the road. Celebrated a victory. Suddenly a terrible impact on Rebrov!

– It is strange.

– I causes the user: “Your player breaks down team by example solder young…” was there a striker like him – Alexander…

– Bukharov?

Yeah, Bukharov!

– What was the response?

– “Guys, if we all drink as ribs – will play it to 38”. Many times I sat with him at the table – Serge can afford a glass of wine. Or beer. All! Drunk never in my life have not seen him. I wanted these bosses? To the players, beating Zenit went to their room to cry? I said: “Let are buzzing until the morning. I guarantee, all will be well.”

– Berdyev expressed?

– No. He understands. Or is the story. Canton after moving to Manchester United for the first time did not get out of the Nightclubs. You get drunk, the battle is staged. When Ferguson was told, called Canton before training. He prepared for the worst. Or expelled or fined. But Ferguson tea drink, have a heart: “you Know, it’s hard for you, Eric. Live alone, no family, boring nights in a strange city. We have a great club. The food is delicious, the crowd interesting. Go, you will not regret”. A week later was called back: “was there? Like it?” “Oh, Yes! All super and the kitchen and bar…” – “So stop hanging around in their dens!”

– Subtly.

– This is the art of the coach. Not to act rashly, and to approach the player you’re looking for.

– They say that the more brilliant a person is, the easier it is to communicate. Convinced?

– Repeatedly. Two small examples. Brought from Hungary on view in the Arsenal 15-year-old player. After a workout, sitting in a restaurant on the base. Wenger gets up for a Cup of coffee, turns to the guy: “do You need anything?” He almost fainted did not fall. Not every coach would have done so. For Arsene, in the order of things. Unique human qualities!

– Example number two.

– Came to Manchester on business, before the game against Arsenal call Ferguson. I’m sorry, says can’t pass on a match to help, the tickets are not enough. That year at the mine in Chile accident, 33 people were blocked in the mine. Two months spent there. When saved, Ferguson invited everyone to old Trafford. Answer: “Alex, no problem. Stop by tomorrow to base a conversation. Football on TV look”. Sitting in the hotel suddenly calling Ferguson. I look at my watch to match, which decided the fate of the championship, 35 minutes! I heard in the phone: “Sandor, I got a ticket, come!” At this moment the greatest coach remembered me. Although who am I – a speck of dust in football, lost the Hungarian…

– In may from a brain hemorrhage, Ferguson went to the emergency room a few days was in a coma. As it is now feels?

– The situation was critical but pulled through, thank God. After surgery call I’m not bothered, talked to the son of Ferguson. Reported that the father slowly goes on the amendment. On football until you get. If you see there – be sure to come to him. Bring a gift of his favorite Hungarian wine.

– He prefers whiskey.

– It used to be. Ten years ago, moved on to red wine. Come to Hungary, tasted. The famous Tokaj wine not impressed. Too sweet. But from the varieties that produce in the region of villány, Ferguson delighted. Here our tastes coincide.


– Kanchelskis in Saudi Arabia too, in the story got involved. He told us: “I knew there is prohibited to carry alcohol, but talked like? Not a box of moonshine dragged. And a good bottle of red wine as a gift to Sheikh, who was the President of my club, “al-Hilal”. But the wine at customs, seized, forced to write explanatory…”

– At me was. Andrew – my client in Riyadh came. That wine carries, did not say a word. I learned about it only at the airport when he was detained.

– For how long?

– No. “Al-Hilal” – the Royal club. One of the trainers there worked for Sami al-Jabir is a local legend. Participated in four world cups, was capped 163 of the match. The king was the “you” could resolve any issue. Then he immediately contacted, and arrived at the airport and Andrew was released.

– Lucky.

– An ordinary passenger for such a violation will immediately be sent out of the country. The laws there are harsh. What can I say, if every Friday on the Central square of traffickers publicly beheaded.

– Kanchelskis once went there on a penalty.

– I don’t. Not drawn. Although invited many times.

– Ignatieff to Saudi Arabia and worked in the UAE, where faced with a problem. Two local player of his team were gay. Boris described how after quiet hours went players in the rooms to Wake and caught a couple in the most obscene pose. Ran manual. And the answer is: Yes, do not worry, this is normal.

Well normal, if in the Emirates, and Saudi Arabia have homosexuals like drug dealers, the head flying?!

– Why Ignatiev said so?

It is a different matter. Called the human factor. But in fact, the countries living under Sharia law, homosexuality is punishable by death. SNiP – and no head.

– In the world of football with these people faced?

– One time there were rumors about Cristiano Ronaldo. It seems that he even admitted to sexual orientation. Today, conversations on the subject ceased. I had a year history in 2000. My client, a defender of the national team of Hungary Laszlo Bodnar moved to Kiev “Dynamo”. When the coach was allowed to take to collect wives, all players have done so. In addition to Laszlo, who for some reason came with a friend. The team was alarmed.

– No wonder.

– Immediately call: “Sandor, trouble. Bodnar brought in a friend to get ready…” actually it really was a friend, nothing more. But to reassure people, I have sampled once with Laszlo in the night life. Then the Dynamo said: “the Guys did not bother me. Home already three girls brought, all right, he saw”. Now he’s married, daughter growing up. Says – happy.

Personally, I am against the blatant promotion of homosexuality. If in football there, but the man claims do not arise, their duties are clearly not trying to seduce the head coach or teammate – who cares who he sleeps with?


– You mentioned that the granddaughter of five passports. How many do you have?

One. Hungarian. Received when in the 80s he moved from Union to Budapest. In the USSR dual citizenship was prohibited.

In England you have a residence permit?

Yes. Now most of the time I spend there. Because of the granddaughter. By the way, house rule: I speak to her in Hungarian, Larisa – Russian, Tristan French. English is excluded, will still dominate.

– Will grow up to be a polyglot – as a grandfather?

– “Polyglot” – loudly. Know three languages – Russian, Hungarian and English. Arab – worse.

In Saudi Arabia mastered?

Yes. In “al-Ittihad” came from Kalman Museum, former coach of team Hungary. Instructions to the players he was given in your native language. I translated in English, and the local assistant – Arabic. When I saw the players running in the opposite direction, doing not what I asked, I realized – as soon as possible to learn the language and communicate with them directly.

– Among the coaches polyglots met?

– Roy Hodgson. Don’t forget he is British! The representatives of this country do not bother to study languages because the whole world speaks English. But Hodgson worked in Malmo – learned Swedish. At inter Italian. In Switzerland German. In the national team of the UAE is Arabic. In the national team of Finland – Finnish. Well French from school I know.

– Strong.

Roy is an incredibly interesting personality. A true gentleman, Sheila, wife, loves, still with her pen goes. I remember sitting with a big company – Wenger, Ferguson, Hodgson. Came an old man, one of the football figures. With his wife, forty years younger. Roy mused: “What language are the talking?” Say, what language they speak? What? What they have in common? This difference in age… Wenger grinned: “Body language. Only body language”. (“Body language. Only the language of the body” – Approx. “SE”). You know the story of how Hodgson almost has headed Kiev “Dynamo”?

– No.

– In 2007 we negotiated with Hryhoriy Surkis, Roy has one foot was in Kiev. And here the offer from Fulham, who was on the flight. And Hodgson had long wanted to work in the Premier League. Agreed immediately. Say: “You’re crazy! Why do you need? Dynamo offers a great contract, the club plays in the Champions League. And here is the chance to save the team minimum…” “No, I’ll go to Fulham.

– On less money?

– Much! The conditions are not comparable. At Fulham Roy had worked a miracle. Of the last five matches won four and stayed in the League, ahead on goal difference “reading”, which fell to championship. In the following season to qualify for the Europa League, where they reached the final. When the house defeated Manchester United 3:0 I was at that game, sat next to Sheila.

After the third ball whispered: “Please don’t score anymore!” Worried about Ferguson, friend of the family. Ferguson himself before the match said in an interview: “Roy held at Fulham a fantastic job, is the main contender for the title of “Best coach of the year.”

His in 2010, and recognized.

– Absolutely. Further, England remains without a coach. During dinner ask Roy: “see to you have addressed?” “What are you! Such questions they do not decide…” – “who?” – “Sky Sports. Someone out there wants to, and he will be the main”. And talked about it calmly, perceived as a given.

In the end, have appointed Hodgson.

Yes. But all depended not so much on the leadership of the Federation, how much from Sky Sports. The influence of non-football people in such processes is horrible! As that to the fore in football beyond the principle: “More, More, extra money…”


Recently Oleg LOGNAME turned 50. What is its phenomenon? As at 31 succeeded at Arsenal to play?

– Yeah, four seasons in the Premier League. Although many have already written off Oleg, said the old… And the answer is simple – attitude.

– As asserted by Wenger, vodka indulges…

Stop. I have fulfilled the mandate of Arsene. Went to Oleg home. Talked to the wife, ex-figure skater, he met my mother. Saw family, sports, faith, positive. Vodka no one drinks. But Wenger before signing the contract insisted on a personal meeting in London. I wanted to see LOGNAME in the eye. Say: “Yes, he is English does not know a word…” “it’s Nothing. All that is necessary, I see. Drink a glass of wine and understand what his preferences”. When in the Champions League “Dinamo” played with “Arsenal”, went to dinner at Wenger.

– Coaching with Lognam held – how to behave, what to say?

Why? Who cares what he says? Translate-I. Ha! Are on the subject of two stories. Recall – will tell. In the meantime, about Luzhny. Zaporozhye, one of his last games for Dynamo Kyiv. The contract with “Arsenal” has already been signed. The game does not solve anything – “Dynamo” for a long time, the champion, still leads 3:1. The 88th minute. Suddenly Luzhny makes a long burst down the wing and yells: “PA-a-as!” In the plane on the way back Lobanovsky said: “Maybe the right defender Luzhny instead we find. But a captain of “Dinamo” will never”. In his pocket a contract with Arsenal, many would be careful, would think about how traumatic not to – but not Luzhny.

– Handsome! Now the two promised stories.

I’m certainly not a Saint. In the interest of sometimes has to dissemble, to resort to various tricks tricks. I remember how organized the transfer Rebrov to England. Call of Grigory Surkis: “You’re asking a lot!” After gaining Alan Sugar, the President of Tottenham: “You give too little!” And so the circle. Daughter heard, clasped her hands: “Dad, are you lying?!”

– Confused?

Smiled: “I Just want the transaction took place…” Or long talks in the Netherlands. The coach needed a player, the guy also wants to go – but leaders can not bargain. Ask the assistant: “get me at some point, introduce yourself to the President of the Greek club. Play the play”.

– Did you call?

Yeah. You can get some old Nokia, accidentally on speakerphone. The whole office: “Sandor, we accept your terms. Fly to Greece will sign a contract. In the evening waiting at the airport”.

– Worked?

Yes. But as the spirit – using such tricks, when one hundred percent sure that it’s all good. And the player and the club.


The most memorable gift your clients?

– Vertu. Andriy Husin came with his wife, presented a beautiful, tastefully decorated, wooden box. I opened the phone there for ten thousand euros.

– Drive?

– The fact of the matter is that there was no reason! Gasped: “Andrew, why?” – “You are my agent…” And gave me a chance to refuse. Here is Cristiano Ronaldo gave his agent Jorge Mendes island in Greece. Not under the terms of the contract – at the behest of the soul. For me it’s the equivalent of gifts – the island and Vertu. Because better than any words speak about the attitude of the player to their own agent.

Remained phone?

– Yes, at home. Once in Kiev has forgotten in a taxi on the back seat. When I woke up, dialed the number without hope. Suddenly I hear: “Hello” – “Hello, I own a Vertu…” – “Yes, I have it. I’m a cab driver. Where to drive?” Was then told, “Lucky you. Took the following passengers, and they saw: “Oh, Vertu! Someone must have dropped”. Gave it to me. And I – you.”

– Husin was not only your client but also a friend.

– It’s true. Andrew has been gone for almost four years, but the family continue to communicate. Here his dad called last night…

– The last conversation with Andrew?

– By phone – the day before death. I was in the Carpathians, I have a Hacienda. Say: “Andrew, come, relax, horse ride. What you see in these bikes…” But he loved the speed. In Kiev Kaladze drove around the city, competed who was the first to base coming. Me somehow on “Mercedes-McLaren” in the airport was lucky. I looked at the speedometer – 330! In the chair shrank: “Andrew, I’m in no hurry. To the plane for another three hours…”

– This passion Husin and killed.

– Andrey very sorry. Hajiyev saw in him vast coaching potential. When Haci Muslimovich in Anji appointed, in all seriousness said to me: “Go assistant Husin. Sure, Andrew is a great coach.” Was recently in Kiev, went on Baykovoye cemetery. All lie near the Lobanovsky, Bal, Vats, Belkevych and Husin…

– You and Bal were friends?

Yes. Andrew is a bright man, funny. With a keen sense of justice.

– Blokhin will still be coaching?

– I do not know, have not talked. In the “Dynamo” Oleg had serious health problems. A minor stroke operation. When he returned, to lead the team was very hard. It is not surprising that after leaving Dinamo he had four years without a job.

Clearly remember the moment when you became a millionaire?

– 25 years ago. In Hungary earned little. And in Saudi Arabia the salary was seven thousand dollars. In those days – fabulous condition. Just bought my first apartment in Budapest. Football then poured a lot of money, this allowed to rich. But in my mind absolutely nothing has changed.

Finally, another surprise. At the time, for the right to host the 2006 world Cup, fought England, Germany, Brazil, Morocco and South Africa. David Dean, Vice-President of “Arsenal” and other members of the British organizing Committee made inquiries, found that in Saudi Arabia, where I lived, there are people who could vote in England. Asked to assist. Prince Charles even the letter they sent me.

– Did not help. The world Cup went to Germany.

Yes. But the letter survived. Brought in the Transcarpathian village of Vyshkovo, where he was born, showed my mom: “Could you imagine your son, who as a child was sent to the river to herd the ducks and geese, would request the heir to the throne?!”

Yuri GOLYAK, Alexander CLUBS, Sport-Express