One of the world’s most prominent football agents, Mino Raiola, is in a critical condition at a Milan hospital – but has not passed away despite reports to the contrary in Italy.
The 54-year-old represents some of the most influential players in the world of football and has helped revolutionise the way football transfers are negotiated.
Raiola was hospitalised in January and underwent surgery, although the procedure and nature of his illness was not made public, and it was claimed early on Thursday afternoon by Italian media that he’d passed away.
However, friends of Raiola, as well as doctors and surgeons from the Milan hospital he is in, have hit out at ‘phone calls from pseudo journalists who speculate on the life of a man who is fighting’ – confirming he is still alive although in a critical condition.
Born in the south of Italy in 1967, Raiola grew up in the Netherlands after his parents moved to Haarlem a year later. He became involved as a football agent during his early 20s, working for Sports Promotions, and was involved in deals transferring several high-profile Dutch players to Serie A – namely taking Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergkamp to Inter in 1993.
He went solo a couple of years later and soon established himself as one of football’s leading agents – representing the likes of Pavel Nedved, whom he oversaw moving to Juventus from Lazio in a deal worth €41m.
Raiola’s modern day clients include Zlatan Ibrahmovic – who he has helped move on a number of times in transfers worth over €130m in cumulative fees – Paul Pogba and Erling Haaland, and he also represents Italian trio Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti and Mario Balotelli.