Alhoussein Diallo decided to become a player agent after helping a professional soccer player friend. It has been two years since he became a licensed FFF player agent.
What is your background?
Alhoussein Diallo: I have focused my studies on sports management. I also spent a year in London in this field, which allowed me to improve my English. Upon my return, I obtained my player agent license. I have now been a licensed FFF agent for 2 years.
Why did you choose to become a soccer player agent?
Alhoussein Diallo: Before I didn't work in the world of soccer, I was just a fan. Then I helped a friend of mine, Prince Gouano, who is a professional player, and finally, I got into it and decided to take the agent exam.
Which school did you choose to attend? And why?
Alhoussein Diallo: In France, there are 3-4 schools, no more. e. I looked at the reviews and social media of each of them and chose one. I was a student from Monday to Friday. I am quite academic, so I needed to have set hours from Monday to Friday. Ultimately, it depends on the person's profile, as some may prefer distance learning.
Is there a particular methodology to adopt to learn the FIFA player agent exam preparation courses?
Alhoussein Diallo: It's just memorization. You have to read and repeat. You have your book and your highlighter, and you learn.
What is the added value of being a licensed soccer player agent?
Alhoussein Diallo: In my specific case, I obtained my soccer player agent license to have credibility and not depend on anyone. I put my name on the mandates, do everything myself, and do it officially without needing any intermediaries.
The soccer agent license shows that you are a reliable person.
You can also work in several European countries other than Italy or Holland, where you will need a local agent to make a deal.
The exam is in two parts. Which part is the most complicated?
Alhoussein Diallo: Actually, the first part is complicated because it is pure law learning. You skim over 8 or 9 areas (sport, work, contract, image, etc.), and as indicated, it is a general law. In my case, when I passed the first part, I said to myself, "I passed my exam!" The second part is more related to what you will face in the daily life of a FIFA player agent. You need to know the specific regulations of the FFF, the LFP, and FIFA, so you are more involved.
In your opinion, what qualities did you have related to the profession of soccer player agent?
Alhoussein Diallo: For me, it's about having good people skills, as it is a job that requires contacts. You need to speak several languages; in my case, I speak French, English, and Spanish. These are the two most important points.
How do you choose a soccer player to work with?
Alhoussein Diallo: At the beginning, it's all about the soccer qualities. The mistake I made was looking at players that I personally like. I love beautiful soccer and I love Barcelona, so at first, I went for smaller players and quickly realized that I couldn't place them. Eventually, you opt for soccer players that the market demands. You always look at their soccer qualities and what clubs will like. Now, I target specific player profiles instead.
How do you approach soccer players you want to work with?
Alhoussein Diallo: If the soccer player is an adult, I search for their contact information in order to get in touch with them and present the project. If the soccer player is a minor, I search for their parent's contact information to schedule a meeting.
What do you highlight to convince the soccer player or their families to join your company?
Alhoussein Diallo: First of all, we highlight our FFF agent license, which shows that we work officially and legally. Furthermore, I explain to them that in some big agencies where there are 30/40 players, we may not fully accompany them. At SBS Management, we work with a limited number of soccer players. We watch one or two of our players' matches per month. We provide regular sports follow-up, and if we couldn't watch a match in person, we watch it on video and provide feedback to the soccer players. I emphasize individualization. We also offer daily human resources, including a physical trainer, a video analyst, a coach who takes care of technical individualization, and two scouts.
Any last words for future soccer player agents?
Alhoussein Diallo: You need to arm yourself with courage. When you embark on this FIFA player agent training, you can't do it halfway; you need to be determined. It requires sacrificing evenings and weekends, where you will have your nose in your books and be focused on your soccer player agent exam.
Interview conducted by Abdelwahab Hamed for SportsAgent Institute on April 11, 2022.