Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Super Agent Mino Raiola dies at the age of 54 after prolonged illness

MILAN ( Associated Press) — Mino Raiola, the influential and often controversial sports agent for some of football’s biggest players, has died. He was 54 years old.

Raiola passed away after a prolonged illness, his family confirmed on Saturday. He was undergoing treatment at the San Rafael Hospital in Milan, where Zlatan Ibrahimovic visited him this week. Raiola had surgery in January but it was said at the time that it was not life-threatening.

“In eternal sadness we share the passing of the most caring and wonderful football agent,” read a post from “The Raiola Family” on their social media accounts.

“Mino fought to the end with the same force that he put on the negotiating table to protect our players. As always, Mino did us proud and never felt it. ,

Raiola was an agent of stars such as Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba as well as Ibrahimovic.

After negotiating Pogba’s transfer from Manchester United to Juventus in 2012, he was famous for making big money moves to his players, but also attracted the ire of football managers, including Alex Ferguson.

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He dealt with Pogba’s return to United in 2016 for a then-world-record fee of 105 million euros ($116 million), of which Riola earned 27 million euros ($30 million). He was paid millions more by Pogba and United.

Riola was in the process of negotiating Haaland’s expected move from Borussia Dortmund this summer, with Manchester City as one of several potential destinations for the Norwegian starlet.

Raiola also oversaw the departure of Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma for Paris Saint-Germain from childhood club AC Milan last year. Mario Balotelli was another of his clients.

“Mino touched the lives of many through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will always be remembered,” added the announcement of his death.

“Mino’s mission to make football a better place for players will continue with that passion.”

Italian and international media widely reported on Thursday that Raiola had died, but this was explicitly denied by his agency to The Associated Press and later explicitly denied by Raiola himself on social media. did.

“Current health status for those wondering: p****d second time in 4 months they killed me. Also able to revive,” read a message on Raiola’s Twitter account.

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It was also incorrectly reported that he had died in January when he was taken to hospital, which was later confirmed as a “simple medical examination requiring anaesthesia”.

Raiola was born in the southern Italian city of Nocera Inferiore, but moved to the Netherlands less than a year later.

He worked as a waiter at his father’s Italian restaurant while in high school and studied law for two years at the university.

Raiola was a youth team football player and administrator before starting his career as a sports agent by helping transfer Dutch players to foreign clubs.

He was rarely out of controversy or limelight – much like the players he represented. Raiola compared FIFA to a mafia organization in 2013 and called the governing body’s then-president Sepp Blatter a “crazy dictator”.

Along with fellow “super agents” Jorge Mendes and Jonathan Barnett, Raiola threatened FIFA with legal action over plans to cap transfer payments in 2020.


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