By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Editor
The Madrid derby between Real and Atletico is a very Spanish affair. But the capital clash also extends across the border to neighbouring Portugal - and not just because of Jose Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao et al.
Madrid's Portuguese contingent is ever-growing, and that is largely thanks to one man - Jorge Mendes. The self-styled 'super agent' owns a corporate box at Real, and he'll be a particularly interested observer in Saturday's city clash as he represents a number of the stars on show - from both teams.
Mendes boasts five clients on each side, as well as Mourinho, and the stars of his Gestifute firm are likely to feature heavily at the Bernabeu.
For Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe are certain to start, while Argentine winger Angel Di Maria - who played in Portugal for Benfica - could return from injury. Another former Benfica man, Fabio Coentrao, is also in contention, although the fifth footballer represented by Mendes, Ricardo Carvalho, misses out through injury.
At Atletico, Radamel Falcao, Silvio, Joao Miranda, Tiago and Pizzi are all Mendes clients. Falcao has been ruled out through injury, along with Silvia, but Tiago could shake off a knock and feature along with the other two. Which would make a possible seven starters, plus Mourinho on the Madrid bench.
|REAL MADRID & ATLETICO | The Jorge Mendes men - plus Mourinho
With Coentrao's signing in the summer, Madrid have now spent €203 million on Mendes players - of which the Portuguese agent will have claimed a more-than-healthy cut. And he won't have done badly out of Atletico's €45m purchase of Falcao from Porto in August, either.
So whatever happens in the derby on Saturday night, Mendes is already the real winner.
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