Attorney Cristoforo Colombo Miller was the first lawyer who assisted Brazilian footballers in their transfers outside Brazil. He was the one who oversaw the transfer of Paulo Roberto Falcao to Roma when the borders in Italy were reopened in 1980.
The lawyer Cristoforo Colombo Miller was born on 12/10/1944 in Porto De Conde in the state of Rio Grande de Soul in southern Brazil. Grandson of a German immigrant in 1880, she was given the name of Christopher Columbus as she was born on October 12, which corresponded to the day of our illustrious navigator’s landing in America. As per a written destiny, he was the first South American attorney to land in our country to treat and accompany the geniuses of football.
Since he was a boy, in addition to being a model student who will allow her to obtain a law degree, she will cultivate a great passion for football, also due to his father who was the president of an amateur team. In Brazil in the sixties, these amateur leagues were the reservoir where the footballers who would become professionals grew up. Being in this environment, where his older brother also played, he develops his great passion for football. After a short time he became the manager of the youth sector of the Internacional of Porto Alegre and by carrying out this task he met Paulo Roberto Falcao who arrived in the Gaucho club at the age of 14.
In the period in which he worked at Internacional, the lawyer Cristoforo had to face a very painful family misfortune linked to football. His brother who played at an amateur level, during a game he had a game collision with an opponent and broke his leg. He was hospitalized, but in the following days due to complications of the operation, she was diagnosed with gangrene in her leg which in a few days caused her death. He was 33 years old and for the lawyer Cristoforo this loss was traumatic, but it did not prevent him from detaching himself from that world that so passionate him.
Career as a lawyer
Leaving his position at Internacional he began to practice as a lawyer and from this position he began to look after the interests of various footballers known in the director’s activity. Among these Paulo Roberto Falcao, who begins to show his great qualities which will subsequently lead him to win several titles with Internacional and to become the strongest Brazilian footballer of the seventies together with Zico.
The lawyer Cristoforo Colombo in his legal activity will create one of the most important studies in Brazil which will allow him to provide assistance to footballers for free, simply for the great passion he had for the game of football. Falcao became for him like a younger brother to follow and assist and a relationship will be created between them so strong that it still exists today.
The Transfer of Falcao
When Falcao won everything in the Internacional at the age of 28, the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo worked so that the Brazilian talent could try to compete in a European championship. In the fate of both Falcao and the lawyer there could only be Italy.
First because Falcao had Italian origins and the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo, with a name like that, could only make his first international move to our country. Then the lawyer worked to convince the president of Internacional Asmouz to let Falcao go, it wasn’t easy, because the Brazilian talent was the idol of the fans and it was difficult to get him to accept his departure, but with the work and determination of the ‘lawyer the transfer went through.
Work in Rome
When Falcao arrived in Rome, the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo immediately realized the complexity of managing such an important player, due to the strong pressures that a city like Rome put. So the lawyer decided to spend a lot of time with the footballer in the capital, who in the meantime demonstrated his champion level to all of Italian football, dragging the Giallorossi to win the Scudetto and the Champions Cup final.
Becoming one of the strongest players in the league. Other companies tried to buy Falcao, among them Inter, who came very close through the work of the then director Sandro Mazzola. And it was in these negotiations, between the request of the Giallorossi to renew the contract and other teams to buy the player, that the work of the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo Miller became fundamental for Falcao’s career in Italy.
Clash between Roma and Inter
In the negotiations for Falcao’s renewal, the lawyer had great pressure, but he never let anyone influence him, because his job was to give the player the best conditions. President Fraizzoli’s Inter tried in every way to buy him and even managed to get a sort of written contract from the player. At that moment the fates of the footballer, his lawyer and Italian politics intertwined. In fact, given the difficulties with the renewal, the Giallorossi president Viola spoke about it with the honorable Evangelisti, a Roma supporter, who brought in the honorable Giulio Andreotti, another great fan, to speak with the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo.
The lawyer was summoned to the studio of the famous politician, who asked him what was the amount the footballer wanted to stay in Rome. The lawyer made his requests and received the OK from the Honorable Andreotti. In a few days the renewal of Falcao’s contract will be communicated with the great joy of the Roma fans and of the footballer himself, who he managed to get thanks to the lawyer. Christopher Columbus the most important contract in the world at that time.
Contract that will become the reference for future negotiations in the following years, regarding other champions who arrived in the Italian championship making it the most important in the world, from Zico to Maradona, from Platini to Passarella and many others. In reference to Mr Andreotti’s speech there was a sentence by the lawyer Christopher Columbus who became famous in that period:
“You can say no to Andreotti the first time, the second, but the third time…”
Relations with Rome
When Franco Sensi became president of Rome, he asked the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo to follow Rome’s interests in Latin America, given the great work he did in Falcao’s time. The lawyer was decisive in the purchase of the Brazilian Emerson from Bayer Leverkusen and other operations of Brazilian footballers who had to leave the Giallorossi club. A friendship was created with the president Sensi, so much so that he wanted to buy a club in Brazil and asked the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo to be CEO. However, the lawyer did not accept because his professional commitment in the law firm in Sao Paulo had become very demanding and then the president Sensi gave up the idea.
From that moment the lawyer Cristoforo Colombo Miller devoted himself totally to the legal activity and left to his son Cristiano the task of following that in football, including that of assisting Paulo Roberto Falcao in his activity as a coach.
If today so many agents make their clients earn significant sums, they owe it to him too, because way back in 1983 he had one of his clients sign the biggest contract of the moment and which changed the way of negotiating with companies.