Carmine “Mino” Raiola, the Italian-Dutch sports agent who represented a number of well-known football stars, has died aged 54.
He was one of the most powerful agents in world 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 to the end with the same strength he brought to the negotiating tables to defend our players.
“Mino’s mission to make football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.”
It is believed that he suffered from a recent illness. His death was reported in error on Thursday, which the family had to deny 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 from 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 agent at the time.
Mr. Raiola got a job at the agency but later set up on his own. When he died, he was ranked fourth in the world in the Forbes list of sports agents, with $84.5 million earned in commissions and $847.7 million in player contracts.
In his defense of his player’s interests, the agent was known to have sparked the fury of fans and managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Mr Raiola had endured a particularly contentious 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 after Sir Alex’s reign, including Ibrahimovic, although his involvement was reported as one of the reasons the club did not pursue Haaland.
Asked if his acrimonious relationship with Manchester United could mean he never brought another player to Old Trafford, he said he didn’t care – albeit using stronger language – in an interview with The Athletic.
“I’m independent. We only have one part to take care of – our players – and as long as our players love us, you do what you have to do,” Raiola said.