High-profile super agent Mino Raiola has died at the age of 54 following an illness, his family has confirmed.
It comes after Raiola – the representative of such stars as Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – was forced to take to social media in a furious final tweet while fighting for his life in hospital to slam suggestions he had died on Thursday.
But a statement from his family released barely 48 hours later on Saturday said: ‘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 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.’
High-profile super agent Mino Raiola has died at the age of 54 following an illness
The super agent’s family confirmed his passing in a statement released on social media
Raiola pictured with the Manchester United and France footballer Paul Pogba (right)
Raiola, who also represents Marco Verratti, Matthijs de Ligt and Gianluigi Donnarumma, was previously hospitalised in January due to an unspecified issue.
Raiola underwent very delicate surgery but the nature of the illness was not revealed.
Reports said at the time the condition wasn’t life-threatening and that Raiola would begin a period of rehabilitation at home – but he had been back in intensive care in recent weeks.
There were then reports on Thursday in Italy that he had passed away, but some of his industry colleagues were left confused by the reports, having been in contact with the 54-year-old, and it soon emerged they were premature.
The Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is one of Raiola’s clients set to be on the move
Raiola, in hospital in Milan, wrote on Twitter: ‘Current health status for the ones wondering: p****d off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate.’
Raiola’s right-hand man Jose Fortes Rodriguez told Dutch TV: ‘He is in a bad position, but he hasn’t died.’
However, barely two days later the death of someone who went from working in a pizza restaurant to becoming one of the most influential figures in the world game, brokering mega-deals in the process, has now been confirmed.
Forbes estimated last year that Raiola’s personal wealth was in the region of £62m.
It was reported that Raiola earned as much as £20million from the world record £89m sale of Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016.
The summer transfer window move was also shaping up to be yet another busy period for Raiola, with France World Cup winner Pogba and Norway striker Haaland expected to leave Man United and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
RAIOLA’S BACK STORY
Mino Raiola was born in the south of Italy before moving to Holland as an infant as his parents made a living from a sandwich shop, then a pizzeria, and later an upmarket restaurant.
He made his first move in the world of football administration when, as a 25-year-old, his company Intermezzo helped facilitate Holland international Bryan Roy’s transfer from Ajax to Foggia.
Raiola, who moved to Foggia to live with Roy for seven months, became close with Foggia manager Zdenek Zeman and soon began to build up contacts in Czech Republic.
In 1996, with Raiola quickly becoming a rising star in the agent world in Italy, negotiated Pavel Nedved’s move from Sparta Prague to Lazio, then managed by close friend Zeman.
Slowly but surely the Dutch-Italian agent became a key player and it was an encounter with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2001, then at Ajax, that had a lasting impact on both of them.
They had dinner together in a Japanese restaurant in Amsterdam and Ibrahimovic quickly pushed for Raiola to become his agent.
Raiola’s client base has sky-rocketed since then with household names such as Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland, Matthjis de Ligt and Henrikh Mkhitaryan among his stable.
In August 2016, it was Raiola who negotiated the £89million world record transfer of Pogba to Manchester United.
Raiola reportedly £20m from the Pogba deal, allowing him to purchase the former Miami home of notorious American mob boss Al Capone.
In 2019, Raiola was victorious in Italy’s Federal Court of Appeal after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee ratified a three-month ban from the Italian Football Federation due to ‘undisclosed reasons’.
During the early 1990s, Raiola worked for the Sports Promotions, a company in Holland, and assisted with the transfers of several high-profile Dutch players, including Dennis Bergkamp, to Italian clubs.
Raiola studied the methods of his colleagues to learn how to conduct such transfers by himself, making extra photocopies of the vital documents, before striking out to negotiate the move of Czech star Pavel Nedved from Sparta Prague to Lazio in 1996.
Since then, Raiola has overseen numerous Ibrahimovic transfers around Europe, as well as Balotelli’s move from Inter Milan to Man City in 2010 and his subsequent switch to AC Milan.
He famously fell out with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson before Pogba joined Juventus in 2012.
Ferguson was unhappy about the way he feels Raiola unduly influenced the Pogba family to force the 19-year-old player from Old Trafford in 2012.
Raiola has overseen some of the most lucrative transfers in world football in recent years
‘I distrusted him from the moment I met him,’ said the United manager. ‘There are one or two football agents I simply do not like — and Mino Raiola is one of them.
‘We had Paul under a three-year contract and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.
‘He and I were like oil and water. From (the first meeting) on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.’
But by the summer of 2016, he oversaw the moves of three players – Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Mkhitaryan – to Manchester United all in the same window.
Raiola reportedly pocketed £20m from the Pogba deal, allowing him to purchase the former Miami home of notorious American mob boss Al Capone.