Carmine “Mino” Raiola, the Dutch-Italian sports agent who represented a number of well-known football stars, has died at the age of 54.
He was one of the most powerful agents in the world of football and represented Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Raiola family said: “Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will be forever missed.”
They added: “Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on negotiation tables to defend our players.
“Mino’s mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.”
He is understood to have been suffering from a recent illness. His death had been mistakenly been reported on Thursday, something which the family had to contradict at the time.
Broker of some of football’s biggest transfers
The Dutch-Italian national was known for brokering some of the biggest transfers in the game’s history, including Pogba’s return to Manchester United from Juventus for £89m – then a world record.
He spoke several languages, including Italian and Dutch, and got his break in football in 1993 when he was asked to help with Dennis Bergkamp’s transfer from Ajax to Inter Milan in 1993 by the player’s then agent.
Mr Raiola landed a job at the agency but then set up on his own. As of his death he was ranked fourth in the world in Forbes list of sports agents, with a reported $84.5m earned in commissions and $847.7m in his players’ contracts.
In his defence of his player’s interests the agent was notorious for igniting the fury of fans and of managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, and Jurgen Klopp.
Mr Raiola had endured a particularly controversial relationship with Manchester United, with former boss Ferguson blaming him for Pogba’s early exit from the club.
However he represented several players who later joined following Sir Alex’s reign, including Ibrahimovic, although his involvement was reported to be among the reasons the club did not pursue Haaland.
Asked about whether his acrimonious relationship with Manchester United might mean he never took another player to Old Trafford, he said he did not care – albeit using stronger language – in an interview with The Athletic.
“I’m independent. We have only one party that we take care of – our players – and as long as our players like us, you do what you have to do,” Mr Raiola said.