A few days ago, the sports press around the world was accompanied by the news of the departure of the most famous man behind the scenes in the world of football, Mino Raiola, the most prominent business agent for professional players in Europe, after his death yesterday, Saturday, at the age of 54.
Raiola has been one of the oddest, but most successful, agent in the football world, behind some of the biggest transfers of the last decade and a half.
Before completing one of the most important deals expected next summer with the giant Norwegian player Arling Halland, Raiola turned a page that sparked controversy for many years, during which the man received widespread criticism as well as praises for his financial successes within the players’ deals.
The man that bosses fear
In his passing, Raiola’s name once again took over social media, thanks to fans of the number one popular game around the world. But talking about the man was divided between criticizing his career, admiring the Italian who came out of the humble town of Agri, and the line of the greatest transfer deals in the history of the game, reaching a net profit limit of 25 million euros from only one transfer deal, which is the deal of the French Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United.
It was enough for Raiola to carry his mobile phone and in his modest clothes, to make the club chiefs fear his stubbornness in any deal. The Italian agent stood behind big players such as Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli, in addition to Pogba and Halland.
Raiola, who introduced high commission rates for players’ agents, was the subject of controversy in a game that became hugely lucrative for professionals in Europe.
Raiola’s strangeness is not limited to his statements and actions. The Italian owned an accounting firm called Maguire Tax & Legal, and this name was inspired by the Academy Award-winning movie starring Tom Cruise.
Rawila was an infant when his parents immigrated to Holland and settled in Haarlem. He grew up in this town before becoming a somewhat talented player in his youth, playing for his local club before deciding to stop at an early age. After that, he went to study law, without losing his passion for football, and chose to take charge of the Harlem team.
And the global website “Gol” reported that at the beginning of his infancy, Raiola was rude with those in high positions, and he benefited from the brilliance of Dutch players during the eighties of the last century, especially with their money in transfer deals to his mother country in Italy, whose clubs were then attracting The most important players in the world.
Raiola entered the door of the players’ agents during that period, and his first distinguished deal was with the player Dennis Bergkamp, the star of Ajax and the national team of mills, to the Inter Milan team, to begin the journey of the “Emperor of Deals”.
Salvador Dali and the Mona Lisa
It was known about the Italian that he was adept at pleasing players at the expense of clubs, which made him a destination for talent, and this is what made Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary coach of Manchester United, far from admiring Raiola, until the two men showed hatred for each other, and they became “like oil and water”, according to Ferguson.
“I think when a player decides to leave a team, he should leave immediately,” Raiola once said. In his words: “I never compromise, I work exclusively for the benefit of my clients. The players are my wealth and I have a great responsibility towards them. However, I have never made a move that I do not believe in.”
Yesterday, Raiola passed away, leaving behind a rich era in the world of football and money, and the memory of a man who spoke 8 different languages. He described Pogba as a painting by Salvador Dali, and said Ibrahimovic’s move to Paris Saint-Germain had finally given visitors to the French capital something they could see other than the Mona Lisa.