Iconic football agent Mino Raiola has died aged 54, it has been confirmed.
A statement shared today (30 April) by his family reads: “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.
April 30, 2022
"Mino's mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.
"We thank everybody for the huge amount of support received during these difficult times and ask for respect to the privacy of family and friends in this moment of grief."
The Italian agent leaves behind a lasting legacy in the sport, having represented a number of big names including Erling Haaland, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
In 2016, he closed the transfer of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United for a world record fee of €110 million (£93.2 million).
The news of his passing will come as a shock to the fans, not least because Raiola tweeted a critical response to reports that he had died earlier this week.
After being admitted to Milan's San Raffaele Hospital in January, a member of his team tweeted that he 'was undergoing 'ordinary medical checks that require anestesia'.
A few days back, multiple reports by Italian publications started circulating that Raiola had passed, which were later picked up worldwide.
In response, the agent wrote on 28 April: "Current health status for the ones wondering: p****d off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate."
This arrived shortly after Dr Alberto Zangrillo from San Raffaele hospital told 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.”
Rest in power Mino & best wishes to the Raiola family— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) April 30, 2022
Another tweet shared on Raiola's page in January stated: "Mino Raiola is undergoing ordinary medical checks that require anesthesia. All was planned and no emergency surgery happened."
Tributes continue to pour in for the late football legend, with many writing 'RIP Mino'.
"Always defended his clients like a true lawyer fighting against the world, the story of him telling Zlatan to sell his Ferrari and concentrate on his football will always stand out in my mind, he truly has left a legendary status in the game," said one fan.
Another wrote: "The name Mino Raiola will have a lasting effect on the football world."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Instagram