Super-agent Mino Raiola has died after battling an undisclosed illness for months, his family have confirmed. He was aged 54.
The Italian, whose Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Manchester City transfer target Erling Haaland are among his clients, had earlier in the week was forced to deny premature reports of his death, but on Saturday his family confirmed his passing.
In a statement posted on Twitter, his family said: “In infinite sorrow, we share the passing of the most caring and amazing Football Agent that ever was.
“Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on negotiation tables to defend out players.
“As usual, Mino made us proud and never realized it.
“Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football.
“His presence will forever be missed. Mino’s mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.
“We thank everybody for the huge amount of support received during these difficult times and ask for respect and privacy of family and friends in this moment of grief.
– The Raiola Family.
Real Madrid even paid their condolences after the fake reports emerged, which Raiola was forced to deny it from his hospital bed.
He tweeted: “Current health status for the ones wondering: p***d off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate.”
Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to ressuscitate.
— Mino Raiola (@MinoRaiola) April 28, 2022
However, his family confirmed the sad news of his death just two days later.
Raiola had been suffering with a lung condition, according to German outlet Bild, before his passing.
The agent was known for looking after Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He was involved in some of the most historic transfers in history, known for his shrewd bargaining skills with the world’s biggest teams.
Forbes estimated his personal fortune to be around £68million. He was the man who helped agree the £89m deal to take Pogba back to United from Juventus in 2016 for what was then a world-record fee.
SunSport previously revealed how Raiola’s journey to the top of football started by making pizzas.
Born in Nocera Inferiore in Salerno, south-east of Naples, the Raiola family moved to the Dutch city of Haarlem when Mino was just one.
There, they opened a pizzeria called Napoli in Haarlem’s Grote Markt, and, not for the first time, Mino was the star with his sales patter, charm, and customer service making him more than just a waiter.
Those interpersonal skills were soon transferred as he negotiated with some of the sport’s biggest characters.
Raiola also took care of Matthijs De Ligt and Gianluigi Donnarumma, among others.