The world of soccer has lost one of its most important characters, Mino Raiola after battling an undisclosed ailment for months.
Raiola who is known as super agent has represented stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli or Erling Haland.
The 54-year old Raiola was born in Nocera Inferiore, Salerno, in southern Italy in 1967, but a year later his family moved to Haarlem, Holland.
At university, Mino Raiola enrolled in law school and played soccer for HFC Haarlem’s youth team, although he left at 18 to become a youth team manager.
Later, he became a soccer agent, starting in that business at sports agent company Sports Promotions, being part of transfers of Dutch players to Italian Serie A teams such as Frank Rijkaard, Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergkamp.
However, he decided to go independent and his first major transfer was that of Czech Pavel Nedved from Sparta Prague to Lazio.
The high-profile players represented by Raiola were more and more, from Ibrahimovic to Pogba, negotiating in 2016 Paul’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United for $140 million, with the agent receiving a $26.4 million commission.
Mino Raiola has negotiated more than $847.7 million in contracts and usually charges a commission for each transfer of his represented players close to 10%, has millionaire properties in Europe and the United States and speaks seven languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch.
There were claims that Mino Raiola earned £41m from Pogba’s world-record £89m transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 and, while that intensified criticism of agents, Raiola insisted the perception of greed and excess was unfair.
“It’s not nice always to hear this same preconception,” Raiola said last year.
“But maybe the public can also think: ‘If this man is so greedy and so bad, how are his players all happy and stay with him?’
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me… how can you judge if 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 get the best deal done for my player. And no more than that. And doing that is to provide him with a whole range of services that people don’t even know.
“My players don’t call me a parasite, and that’s who I work for. I only care what my players call me.”
Mino Raiola had also spoken of his opposition to Fifa – world football’s governing body – bringing in new regulations for agents.