Football agent Mino Raiola has died at the age of 54 after a short illness, his family has confirmed. The Italian represented the likes of Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Matthijs De Ligt and was renowned for being one of the toughest negotiators in the game.
“In infinite sorrow, we share the passing of the most caring and amazing Football Agent that ever was,” his family wrote in a statement released on Raiola’s official Twitter account. “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 realised 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 grief. The Riola Family.”
Reports from Italy had claimed that the agent had died on Thursday afternoon, but these were false and corrected by Raiola himself via a message on Twitter. But it was reported later in the day that he was in fact critically ill in hospital.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday afternoon, Raiola said: “Current health status for the ones wondering: p* off a second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate.”
Whilst he was born in Italy, Raiola’s parents moved to the Netherlands just one year after his birth, growing up in Haarlem. He played football for the local side, HFC Haarlem, before becoming the head of their youth team.
He also dabbled in being an administrator, before settling on becoming an agent for Sports Promotion, playing a part in the transfers of a number of Dutch superstars. This included the move of Dennis Bergkamp to Inter Milan in 1993.
Raiola broke away and formed his own agency business, with the transfer of Pavel Nedved to Lazio labelled as his first big move following his performances in Euro 1996. That is where he began to build his legacy, with his ability to speak seven different languages helping him gain several high-profile clients.
In 2016 he played a huge role in the World Record transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United, joining for roughly £90 million. His current list of clients includes: Haaland, De Ligt, Pogba, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verrati, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Steven de Vrij among others.