Mino Raiola: Tweet from agent’s official account confirms he is alive but ‘p****d off’ after death claims

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Leading football agent Mino Raiola is critically ill in hospital in Milan  (Getty Images)
Leading football agent Mino Raiola is critically ill in hospital in Milan (Getty Images)

A tweet from Mino Raiola’s official account has confirmed that the leading football agent is alive but “p****d off” after false reports that he had died.

Italian media first reported on Thursday afternoon that Raiola, representative of some of the sport’s biggest names including Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, had passed away aged 54 after suffering an illness.

However, right-hand man José Fortes Rodriguez later told the Dutch press that Raiola was seriously ill in hospital in Milan but had not died.

A tweet from Raiola’s own official account then stated: “Current health status for the ones wondering: p****d off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to ressuscitate.”

Dr Alberto Zangrillo from the San Raffaele hospital in Milan later told the Italian 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.”

Raiola was previously hospitalised in January and was reported then to have undergone “very delicate” surgery on an undisclosed issue.

A message from his Twitter account at that time stated that he had not had major surgery, but merely underwent planned routine medical checks that required anesthesia.

German publication Bild had claimed in January that Raiola was in intensive care with a pulmonary condition not linked to Covid-19.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Matthijs de Ligt and Mario Balotelli are just some of the other high-profile footballers to be represented by Raiola, who, along with the likes of Jorge Mendes, Pini Zahavi and Jonathan Barnett, is considered among the most powerful, wealthy and well-known agents in the sport.

Born in southern Italy but raised in the Netherlands, Raiola played in the youth team of HFC Haarlem as a youngster and later worked in his father’s pizzeria before claiming to have become a self-made millionaire as a businessman while still in his teens.

He then turned to football and first helped to broker Bryan Roy’s move from Ajax to Foggia, acting as an interpreter in Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp’s switch from Amsterdam to Inter Milan in 1993 and later working with Juventus favourite Pavel Nedved.

Raiola became the trusted and sometimes controversial agent of a number of football’s other biggest global stars, playing a central role in several of the sport’s most expensive deals including Pogba’s then world-record £89million return to Manchester United from Juventus in 2016.

Raiola has endured a turbulent relationship with certain high-profile managers throughout his colourful career, most notably Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson.

The upcoming summer transfer window is expected to be a significant one for a number of Raiola’s top clients, with the likes of Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland and Pogba poised to move clubs.

This story has been updated

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