Football super-agent Mino Raiola has died at the age of 54 reports from Italy can confirm.
According to the Daily Mail, Raiola was hospitalized in Milan back in January and underwent very delicate surgery but the nature of the illness was not revealed.
Raiola was involved in some of the biggest transfers in the game and was known for his shrewd bargaining skills with some of the biggest clubs around the world; his style of negotiations having rubbed off some managers including the great Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Italian looked after the likes of Manchester United's Paul Pogba, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Although he won fame and fortune through the beautiful game, Raiola came from more humble beginnings. He started out working in his parents' pizza restaurant in Haarlem before founding Intermezzo, exploring opportunities for Dutch companies in Italy, at 17.
Mino Raiola was one of the most powerful agents in world football.— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) April 28, 2022
His list of players was incredible:
🇳🇱 De Ligt
🇳🇱 De Vrij
RIP. 🕊 pic.twitter.com/u30ZLldy7b
Raiola's aptitude for languages - he could speak Italian, Dutch, French, English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese - alerted him to the attention of Rob Jansen, Holland's most famous agent who need an interpreter for Dennis Bergkamp's move to Inter Milan.
The Italian soon got a job working for Jansen's company Sport-Promotion, but he left not long after to go it alone. His first big deal was the one that took Pavel Nedved to Lazio after Euro 96.