Mino Raiola, the world’s most famous football agent, has died at the age of 54 due to illness.
Raiola was dubbed a’super agent’ in the world of football for his representation of some of the sport’s biggest names, including Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as Matthijs de Ligt and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
He was also the agent for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, 21, who is one of the world’s most sought-after players and is on the verge of joining Manchester City.
A statement from his family read: “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 our players. As usual, Mino made us proud and never realised 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.”
Raiola’s family confirmed his death two days after false rumours of his demise spread. “I am horrified by the phone calls from pseudo-journalists who speculate on the life of a guy who is struggling,” Alberto Zangrillo, head of the anaesthesia and intensive care unit at Milan’s San Raffaele hospital, where Raiola was being treated, had stated on Friday.
Raiola began his career as a football agent at the age of 25, with one of his first clients Dennis Bergkamp’s move to Arsenal.
Since then, he has also worked for Czech Republic star Pavel Nedved, who joined Lazio and later Juventus, with Raiola handling the business side of the transaction.
He made a comeback in 2016, when Jose Mourinho campaigned for Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United. Raiola oversaw the purchase, which was a world record at the time, as the Red Devils paid 89 million pounds for the France International, making him the club’s most expensive signing.