Top football agent Mino Raiola dies

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Top football agent Mino Raiola dies

Influential football agent Mino Raiola died in hospital in Italy on Saturday following a serious illness, reported DW, quoting news agencies dpa and AFP.

"Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on the negotiation tables to defend players," read a statement released by the Raiola family on Twitter, describing the 54-year-old as "the most caring and amazing football agent there ever was."

Raiola was in hospital in January, with German tabloid Bild reporting that he was undergoing treatment for a lung disease, but his spokesman played down any concerns at the time, saying: "Mino Raiola is undergoing usual medical examinations that require anesthesia. Everything was planned, and there was no emergency surgery."

Earlier this week, on Thursday, Raiola himself denied reports that he had passed away following a series of inaccurate claims.

"Current health status for the ones wondering: p***** off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate," he said, although close friends told media outlets including the New York Times and Dutch broadcaster NOS that Raiola was "very, very ill" and "in a bad position."

On Saturday, he finally did pass away, his family announced.

"Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football," continued his family's statement. "His presence will forever be missed."

Influential football agent Mino Raiola died in hospital in Italy on Saturday following a serious illness.

"Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on the negotiation tables to defend players," read a statement released by the Raiola family on Twitter, describing the 54-year-old as "the most caring and amazing football agent there ever was."

Raiola was in hospital in January, with German tabloid Bild reporting that he was undergoing treatment for a lung disease, but his spokesman played down any concerns at the time, saying: "Mino Raiola is undergoing usual medical examinations that require anesthesia. Everything was planned, and there was no emergency surgery."

Earlier this week, on Thursday, Raiola himself denied reports that he had passed away following a series of inaccurate claims.

"Current health status for the ones wondering: p***** off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate," he said, although close friends told media outlets including the New York Times and Dutch broadcaster NOS that Raiola was "very, very ill" and "in a bad position."

On Saturday, he finally did pass away, his family announced.

"Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football," continued his family's statement. "His presence will forever be missed."

A larger-than-life figure, Raiola was no stranger to scandal. In 2008, he was involved in disciplinary hearings instigated by the Italian Football Association (FIGC) regarding transfer irregularities, before being banned from transfer activities for three months in 2019 by the FIGC and then FIFA — bans that were revoked upon appeal.

Ferguson: 'I distrusted him from the moment I met him.'

Never afraid to represent his players' — and his own — interests publicly, Raiola prompted loyalty and contempt in equal measure from people within the industry.

"I'm ready to go to war for my players. I am ready to do anything, as I would for my sons," he told German outlet Sport1 last year.

"The sporting directors hate me? How come? 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."

Among Raiola's biggest critics was former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who famously called him a "s***bag" for his representation of Pogba.

"There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola is one of them," Ferguson wrote in his 2015 autobiography. "I distrusted him from the moment I met him."

Top football agent Mino Raiola dies

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