Mino Raiola has passed away aged 54 following an illness.
The Italian was one of the biggest football agents in the world, representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland, Marco Verratti, Moise Kean, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mario Balotelli any more more high-profile figures.
The news was announced by reporters in Italy on Thursday. It’s believed he was battling a lung disease.
The agent’s career started in the eighties, brokering Dennis Bergkamp’s move from Ajax to Inter Milan in the summer of 1993. He was involved in Robinho’s historic move from Real Madrid to Manchester City – the first transfer of the Sheikh Mansour era.
Raiola’s involvement in several big-money transfers helped him amass a significant personal fortune. As reported by Forbes, he was worth around £68million.
The agent underwent surgery in January after being hospitalised in Italy. The nature of the operation wasn’t revealed at the time and remains unclear.
“Mino Raiola was subjected to ordinary medical checks which required anesthesia,” confirmed Raiola’s official Twitter account in January. “These are scheduled checks, there has been no emergency intervention.”
Reports at the time suggested Raiola’s condition wasn’t life threatening and he complete his rehabilitation at home.
Raiola wasn’t afraid to upset managers during his career, as he aimed to get the best possible deal for his clients. “When [Sir Alex] Ferguson criticised me, that was my biggest compliment anybody could give me,” he told The Athletic last year.
A tribute by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport read: “The most powerful, the best, the most discussed, the most feared – by the clubs – the most loved – by his clients.”
Source: Mirror (Co) (UK)