Dthe well-known and influential football player adviser Mino Raiola has died. The Italian, who among other things represented the star striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, died at the age of 54, which the advisory office in Monaco on Saturday confirmed to a dpa. request. The news of the death had previously been shared by the family via Raiola’s verified Twitter account.
Mino Raiola was feared and insulted more than once by disgruntled football coaches. Quarrel and confrontation were two main motives for a short life – and yet the career of the notorious consultant, including von Haaland, also offers an almost romantic trait: Carmine Raiola did it from dishwasher to millionaire in the truest sense of the word. He died at the age of 54 after a long illness. International football is losing one of its big draws.
“It is with endless sadness that we say goodbye to the most amazing football agent ever,” read his family’s statement on Raiola’s verified Twitter account: “Mino fought to the last with the same vigor that he had defended our players at the negotiating table. “
False reports of the Italian’s death sparked a lot of excitement last Thursday, with Raiola still fighting for his life at Milan’s San Raffaele hospital.
In Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Scandinavia and other parts of the world there was great excitement, it was not just about any player agent. Raiola was probably the most controversial, but almost certainly the most successful in his profession.
Called “Il pizzaiolo”, the pizza maker
It all started in a pizzeria on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Her parents emigrated to the Netherlands from southern Italy in 1968, when Raiola was only a year old. They then ran a restaurant in Haarlem, and the son helped to clean, wash up and bring the food. Much later, therefore, Raiola, the gaming agent, also became known as “il pizzaiolo”, the pizza maker. According to his own statement, he never even stood by the stove.
Instead, he already had a young eye on the company’s finances, also studied law for a couple of semesters and learned several foreign languages - Raiola prepared his advancement, and the pizzeria became the starting shot. For she was also popular among prominent football representatives. And then Raiola got his first contacts in the industry early on, where he would later earn millions.
The little HFC Haarlem appointed him sporting director in the early 1990s, and a little later he was involved as an agent in his first transfer: Dutch national team player Bryan Roy moved from Ajax Amsterdam to Foggia. It was a relatively calm start. In the following decades, exceptional players such as Haaland, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Gianluigi Donnarumma put their multi-million dollar careers in Raiola’s hands.
“Ready to go to war for my players”
The players admired his business tactics, the clubs feared them. Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary Manchester United boss, once called Raiola a “bastard” to convince Pogba to join Juventus on a free transfer. Raiola also insulted in Dortmund when it came to the Haaland transfer. In the end, BVB sports director Michael Zorc must have “really hated him,” Raiola once said on Sport1, and there is a reason for that: “I’m ready to go to war for my players. I’m willing to do anything for her. Like for my sons. “