Football super agent Mino Raiola dies at the age of 54

Football agent Mino Raiola has died, his family has announced.

Italian media reports had claimed on Thursday afternoon that the 54-year-old, who represented the likes of Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, had died, but this was later denied on Raiola’s official Twitter account.

However, on Saturday afternoon, a family statement released on Raiola’s Twitter feed announced that he had died, although no timeline or cause of death was given.

“It is with infinite sadness that we share the passing of the most caring and amazing football agent of all time,” the Raiola family statement read.

“Mino fought until the end with the same strength with which he defended our players at the negotiating tables. As usual, Mino made us proud and never noticed.

“Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will be missed forever.

“Mino’s mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.

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

A tweet from the same account in January said Raiola underwent medical tests that required anesthesia, but he did not undergo emergency surgery.

Raiola was reportedly suffering from a lung condition that has not been linked to Covid-19.

Italian-born Raiola grew up in Holland and first entered the world of football agency working on the deal that took Dutch striker Bryan Roy to Italian club Foggia, then acting as an interpreter on Dennis Bergkamp’s move from Ajax to Inter Milan.

Czech star Pavel Nedved became Raiola’s first big-name client and he steadily built his reputation in Italian and international football over the years, being arguably the highest profile football agent in the world alongside Jorge Mendes.

However, Raiola’s often outspoken approach hadn’t always endeared him to club managers – as former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unhappy with what he saw as an Italian fueling anger over Pogba’s future.

It was reported in the 2017 book Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football that Raiola would earn up to £41m from Pogba’s £89m transfer from Juventus to United.

Raiola had criticized FIFA’s plans to cap agent fees, which the global governing body said is part of an effort to curb the “excessive and abusive” sums that leave the game in the hands of player representatives.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/football-super-agent-mino-raiola-passes-away-aged-54-41603078.html Football super agent Mino Raiola dies at the age of 54

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