Mino Raiola, one of football’s foremost power brokers, has died aged 54, it has been officially confirmed.
The Italian football agent had been battling an unspecified illness since January and had been the subject of media reports in recent days falsely claiming he had died, quickly disputed on his official Twitter account.
However, it was confirmed on Saturday by the same social media page that he was indeed deceased.
“In infinite sadness, we share the passing of the most caring and incredible football agent ever.“, we read in the message.
“Mino fought to the end with the same strength he brought to the negotiating 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 modern football history. His presence will be forever missed.
“Mino’s mission to make football a better place for players will continue with the same passion. We thank everyone for the tremendous support received during these difficult times and ask for the privacy of family and friends at this time of grief.”
Raiola has represented many of the sport’s biggest stars throughout his career as one of football’s most powerful agents, negotiating some of the biggest transfers in football history.
His stable of clients includes star names like Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti and Matthijs de Ligt.
Terrible news. Football agent Mino Raiola has died of an illness, he has been ill for months, he was 54 years old. Raiola was the agent of many football stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland, Pavel Nedved and many more.🙏🏻🕊
— Fabrice Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 30, 2022
It was announced on his Twitter page that he was hospitalized in January and underwent surgery, but the exact nature of his illness has not been revealed.
It was reported at the time that his condition was not considered serious and that he would return to work after a brief recovery period.
Raiola was born in Italy but emigrated to the Netherlands with his parents as a baby, where he eventually started working in his family’s pizzeria in Haarlem. He learned several languages there and would later claim to have become a self-made millionaire while still a teenager.
He joined the HFC Haarlem youth team in 1987 at the age of 18 and eventually used his contacts in Dutch football to help negotiate the transfer of players like Bryan Roy, Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergkamp in various Italian clubs.
Raiola’s stature began to grow exponentially in football and he would soon become one of the game’s most influential and powerful agents.
It has been estimated by Forbes that Raiola’s personal wealth exceeded £60 million ($75 million).
Among the high-profile transfers he would negotiate were the record transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United and the transfer of Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax to Juventus.
Perhaps Raiola’s most important client today, Erling Haaland, is said to be in talks for a lucrative move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City – although it remains unclear how much of an impact Raiola’s passing might impact on the potential transfer.
Paul Pogba is also set to leave Manchester United when his contract expires this summer.
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