Mino Raiola, one of the most high-profile agents in world football, has died following an illness, a statement from his family said Saturday. He was 54.
Raiola represented some of the game’s biggest players including Erling Haaland, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. Matthijs de Ligt, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Jesse Lingard, Blaise Matuidi, Hirving Lozano and Mario Balotelli were also among his client list.
On Thursday, news of his passing broke prematurely, which Raiola dismissed with a post that read: « Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate. »
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A statement released by the Raiola family on Saturday read: « In infinite sorrow we share the passing of the most caring and amazing football agent that ever was.
« Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on negotiation tables to defend our players. As usual, Mino made us proud and never realized it.
« Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will forever be missed.
« Mino’s mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.
« We thank everybody for the huge amount of support received during these difficult times and ask for respect to the privacy of family and friends in this moment of grievance. »
Born in Italy in 1967, he moved to the Netherlands a year later where he represented HFC Haarlem as a player at youth level. Raiola remained in football, despite not making it as a professional player, to become an agent, initially working for a company called Sports Promotions.
He left to start his own business and his first major independent transfer was Pavel Nedved’s move from Sparta Prague to Lazio in 1996.
In 2016, he brokered the then world-record transfer of Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United for £89.3 million.