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MINO RAIOLA: The Full Story of Leading Football Super-Agent, Law Career, And List of All His Clients.

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Mino Raiola, The Italy-born Dutchman, is the agent of football players including Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and one of the most well-known and elite football agents in the world.

In the middle, Mino Raiola the football super agent.  Getty Images)

In response to multiple reports in Italy and across the European media outlets that the 54-year-old has died, he tweeted to say he is alive after Dr Alberto Zangrillo from San Raffaele hospital in Milan told the news agency Ansa: “I’m outraged by the phone calls from pseudo-journalists speculating on the life of a man who is fighting to survive.”

Mino Raiola, who acts as an intermediary between a club and a player, can boast of lucrative sponsorship deals and influencial client profiles. He’s the football agent of Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, Matthijs De Ligt and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Raiola has developed the reputation for earning his clients big contracts, as he closed the then world-record transfer of Pogba to Manchester United in 2016 while also pocketing a reported €25 million (£22m) for himself and is in charge of negotiating Haaland’s summer move away from Borussia Dortmund.

Mino Raiola Life Story

Raiola was born in 1967 in Nocera Inferiore, Salerno, in southern Italy. He moved to the Dutch city of Haarlem with his parents when he was just one.

Growing up in Netherlands, his father opened a pizzeria called Napoli where Raiola spent his younger years working as a waiter and at the same time obtained his high school diploma as he attended university for two years, enrolling in the Faculty of Law.

But Law was not his passion, Football was.

From an early age, Raiola was showing signs of the business acumen as his regular interaction with customers helped hone his communication skills – in both Italian and Dutch – and the youngster was given the responsibility of dealing with any complaints, while working.

Raiola did drop out of his law degree and started playing football for the youth team of HFC Harlem. However, he stopped at age 18 and was appointed Haarlem’s sporting director at just 19 years of age after the club was so impressed by his entrepreneurial skills.

Following his time at Haarlem, he moved into work at sports agent company(Sports Promotions) and assisted in the transfers of high-profile Dutch footballers to Italian clubs, such as Bryan Roy’s move from Ajax to Foggia in 1992, Marciano Vink transfer to Genoa in 1993, and renowned Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp, who moved from the Johan Cruyff Arena to Inter in the same year.{Wikipedia}

After grasping the basics of no less than seven languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch, he decided to leave the sports agency to form his own business.

His first major independent transfer was Pavel Nedved’s move from Sparta Prague to Lazio following his stellar performance at Euro 1996 after the Czech helped his nation reach the final. But, his life-changing moment came when he met Zlatan Ibrahimovic which brought him to the lime light.

Raiola’s maturity belied his youth, and so did his shrewdness. By the age of 19, he claimed he was already a millionaire after he had purchased a nearby McDonald’s and sold it to a property developer for a fortune.

In 2020, Forbes claimed Raiola was worth $84.7m and he worked with his brother Vincenzo.

RAIOLA WAS ‘READY TO GO TO WAR’ FOR HIS CLIENTS.

A fierce negotiator who had previously been called a “s*** bag” by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Raiola defended his approach to business back in December when addressing Haaland’s future.

Raiola told Sport1: “I’m ready to go to war for my players. I am ready to do anything, as I would for my sons.

“The sporting directors hate me? How come? I’ve never sat with a gun on the table in negotiations. I just know very well what value my players have and what the clubs need.

“If they hate me, then it’s the biggest compliment for me. Then I’m doing something well.

If they said ‘it’s good that the Raiola advises the player, it’ll be easy for us,’ then I’d have a problem.”

He added: “I love arguments. I love it when I come up with a strategy and use it to overcome my counterpart.

“You’ll never see me in a suit and tie. That’s not me. I am fat and short. People underestimated me for a long time and said, ‘What does he look like? He can’t even get dressed properly’. That was my chance. Now everyone has respect for me.

Raiola during the Juventus presentation of  Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax. (Image:Getty Images)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was never much a fan of Raiola, while legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson offered a brutal assessment of him in his autobiography.

“I distrusted him from the moment I met him,” Ferguson wrote.

” He became Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent while he was playing for Ajax, and eventually he would end up representing Pogba, who was only 18 years old at the time.”

“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.”

“He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”

Raiola has become notorious, an unpopular representative of the ruthlessly capitalist, financially driven modern game. He played a significant part in Ibrahimović’s later success, acting as an intermediary for a lucrative move to Juventus, followed by later big money deals to join the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

The money paid for the Swede throughout his career would have been enough on its own to make the super-agent rich. But money isn’t the main concern for Ibrahimović; he sees Raiola as a friend and mentor, and as the man who taught him a lesson in priorities as a youngster.

So many people have tales to tell about Raiola, both good and bad which Ibrahimovic and Ferguson are part of.

Ibrahimovic is fond of the one about how Raiola burst into a VIP room at Monaco airport to negotiate his transfer from Ajax to Juventus in 2004 wearing Hawaiian shorts and a T-shirt.

Raiola did not care and he does not care. His preoccupation is simply to do the best he can for himself and his players.

“He was completely fearless and prepared to pull any number of tricks, and that sounded good,” Ibrahimovic said, at the time when he was considering whether to appoint Raiola.

“I didn’t want to have another nice boy. I wanted to be transferred and get a good contract.” Ibrahimovic said.

However, not all of Raiola’s clients have proved to be money-spinning success stories as Mario Balotelli, a player with undisputed talent as an example.

Mino Raiola and Mario Balotelli. (Image:Getty Images)

The Italian striker who now ply his trades in Turkey failed to reach its potential with  Raiola admitting that he shares some of the responsibility in Balotelli failure to reach his potential.

“If Mario Balotelli had Zlatan Ibrahimović’s head, Lionel Messi would have fewer Ballon d’Or awards,” he once said

You have to be ruthless to reach the top and love him or loathe him, Raiola has this in spades.

Mino Raiola’s 73 star-studded clients including Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Matthijs de Ligt.

Here’s a complete list of every Raiola client currently playing according to Transfermarkt.

1. Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund,

2. Matthijs de Ligt – Juventus,

3. Gianluigi Donnarumma – Paris Saint-Germain

4. Paul Pogba – Manchester United,

5. Marco Verratti – Paris Saint-Germain

6. Stefan de Vrij – Inter Milan

7. Hirving Lozano – Napoli

8. Marcus Thuram – Borussia Monchengladbach

9. Moise Kean – Juventus

10. Ryan Gravenberch – Ajax

11. Donyell Malen – Borussia Dortmund

12. Alessio Romagnoli – AC Milan

13. Konstantinos Manolas – Napoli

14. Owen Wijndal – AZ Alkmaar

15. Alphonse Areola – West Ham United

16. Denzel Dumfries – Inter Milan

17. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – AS Roma

18. Calvin Stengs – Nice

19. Myron Boadu – AS Monaco

20. Justin Kluivert – OGC Nice

21. Mohamed Ihattaren – Sampdoria

22. Andrea Pinamonti – FC Empoli

23. Walter Benitez – OGC Nice

24. Mitchel Bakker – Bayer Leverkusen

25. Luca Pellegrini – Juventus

26. Brian Brobbey – RB Leipzig

27. Pablo Rosario – OGC Nice

28. Mohamed Fares – Genoa

29. Kenny Tete – Fulham

30. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – AC Milan

31. Giacomo Bonaventura – Fiorentina

32. Pantelis Chatzidiakos – AZ Alkmaar

33. Blaise Matuidi – Inter Miami

34. Riccardo Calafiori – AS Roma

35. Vangelis Pavlidis – AZ Alkmaa

36. Philippe Sandler – ESTAC Troyes

37. Rodrigo Ely – Nottingham Forest

38. Joao Paulo – Seattle Sounders

39. Roberto Insigne – Benevento Calcio

40. Derrick Luckassen – Fatih Garagumruk

41. Mario Balotelli – Adana Demirspor

42. Federico Macheda – Panathinaikos Athens

43. Micky van de Ven – Wolfsburg

44. Alessandro Deiola – Cagliari Calcio

45. Wesley – FC Sion

46. Marco Tumminello – Reggina 1914

47. Luciano Narsingh – Free agent

48. Cedric Gondo – US Salernitana

49. Vladimir Weiss – Slovan Bratislava

50. Liam van Gelderon – Ajax

51. Immanuel Pherai – Borussia Dortmund

52. Emre Mor – Fatih Karagumruk

53. Camillo Ciano – Frosinone Calcio

54. Thomas Lam – CSKA Sofia

55. Raul Assencio – AD Alcorcon

56. Fabio Pisacane – US Lecce

57. Xavi Simmons – Paris Saint-Germain

58. Ricardo Kishna – Piacenza Calcio 1919

59. Nicolo Armini – ADO Den Haag

60. Davide Merola – Calcio Foggia 1920

61. Ouasim Bouy – Al Kharaitiyat SC

62. Mattia Vitale – FC Pro Vercelli 1892

63. Eron – Atletico Mineiro

64. Lucas Roggia – Juventude

65. Gustavo Hebling – XV De Piracicaba

66. Hicham Kanis – Panserraikos

67. Ahmed Camara – Opountios Martino

68. Vincenzo Tommasone – FC Rieti

69. Lorenzo Andriuoli – Union Villa Cassano

70. Burak Kardes – Eendracht Termien

71. Felipe Mattioni – free agent

72. Abdel Malek El Hasnaoui – OFC Ostzaan

73. Davide Acampa – Napoli

 

Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba could both be the transfer stories of the year next year, and there will be one man behind the organisation of both transfers should they happen – Mino Raiola

Pogba and Haaland are expected to make two of this summer’s most significant transfers, with the Frenchman available on a free when his contract at United ends and Haaland poised to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer with Manchester City on alert to sign the Norway striker.

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