Mino Raiola: Football agent dies at 54

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mino Raiola
Among Mino Raiola’s clients are Sweden and Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Mino Raiola, the agent who represented some of football’s most important players, has died at the age of 54.

The Dutch-Italian’s roster included Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Raiola was also president of the Football Forum, which represented the main agents and their players.

“His presence will be missed forever,” the Raiola family said in a statement.

It read: “With infinite sadness, we share the passing of the most caring and incredible football agent who ever lived.

“Mino fought to the end with the same strength he put on the negotiating tables to defend our players. As always, Mino made us proud and we never realized it.

“Mino has touched so many lives through his work and written a new chapter in the history of modern football.”

The statement added: “Mino’s mission to make football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.

“We thank everyone for the tremendous support received during these difficult times and ask for respect for the privacy of family and friends at this time of grief.”

Raiola, who also represented Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, Italian striker Mario Balotelli and Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, was a controversial and influential figure in world football.

He has been involved in clashes with a number of managers, including former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, but told BBC sports editor Dan Roan in 2021 he learned lessons from situations he was involved in.

There have been allegations that Raiola earned £41m from Pogba’s world-record £89m transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 and while this intensified criticism of agents, Raiola insisted the perception of greed and excess was unfair. .

“It’s not good to always hear that same prejudice,” Raiola said last year.

“But maybe the audience might also think, ‘If this man is so greedy and so bad, how are his players happy and staying with him?’

“I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me… how can you judge whether I was a good agent for Ibrahimovic? The only one who can judge that is Ibra himself.

“I don’t have power and influence… my job is to make the best deal for my player. And no more than that. And to do that is to provide him with a whole range of services that people don’t even know about.

“My players don’t call me a parasite, and that’s what I work for. I just care what my players call me.”

More to follow.

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