Mino Raiola, a powerful and often contentious sports agent who represented some of soccer’s biggest names, has died. He was 54 years old at the time.
Raiola died on Saturday after a long illness, according to his family. He has been receiving treatment at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, where Zlatan Ibrahimovi paid him a visit this week. Raiola had surgery in January, although it was described as non-life threatening at the time.
“We share the passing of the most compassionate and amazing football agent that ever was,” read a message on his social media accounts from “The Raiola Family.”
“Mino battled till the end with the same zeal he used to defend our players at the negotiating tables.” Mino, as usual, made us proud without even realising it.”
Raiola was the agent for Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, and Ibrahimovi, among others.
He was known for securing big-money deals for his players, but he also enraged sports managers, including Alex Ferguson, who negotiated Pogba’s transfer from Manchester United to Juventus in 2012.
Raiola received 27 million euros ($30 million) on Pogba’s return to United in 2016 for a then-world-record fee of 105 million euros (then $116 million). Pogba and United paid him millions extra.
Raiola was in the midst of negotiating Haaland’s projected summer departure from Borussia Dortmund, with Manchester City being one of several probable destinations for the Norwegian sensation.
Last year, Raiola managed the transfer of Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from his childhood club AC Milan to PSG. Another of his customers was Mario Balotelli.