Mino Raiola is a man of many talents. Mino can speak seven different languages, became a millionaire by the age of 19, and dresses for meetings with potential clients in Nike Jumpsuits. Despite the several alleged mafia connections, the questionable purchase of Al Capone’s villa in Miami and the 24 million pounds made off Paul Pogba’s transfer to United, he is undoubtedly one of the most influential men in all of soccer, whether you love him or hate him. Mino Raiola looks over his players and defends them like family. In his first client meeting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he told him to F*** off, then got him to sell his Porsche, buy a Fiat, and proceeded to craft Zlatan into the superstar he is today. Just off transfer deals alone, Mino has accumulated over 250 million pounds.
Mino Raiola sure has had his fair share of superstars under his agency, past and current. We’ve put together the ultimate starting XI of Mino’s clients:
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma, AC Milan
Donnarumma has already solidified himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Serie A, and he’s only seventeen years old. Although Milanisti fans everywhere adore him, a move might be expected in the upcoming years for the young goalkeeper as teams such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Liverpool are all gunning for the young Italian. If we know one thing about Mino, he’s gonna take him and his client where the money is.
Fullbacks: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan) & Maxwell (PSG)
Although defensive players are not Mino’s big money clientele, he sure has some solid defenders in Abate and Maxwell. Maxwell introduced Zlatan to Raiola, and has followed him around, together with Zlatan, from Ajax to Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, and PSG. Abate has been a solid Serie A player, consolidating himself in Milan’s line-up after a series of loan spells around the peninsula.
Center Back: Bartosz Salamon (Cagliari)
Salamon made a move to AC Milan in 2013, but did not hit his stride until a recent move to Cagliari, where he has been a constant contributor. As said, defenders are not Mino’s speciality, despite Salamon being a valid player overall.
Midfield: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Frank Rijkaard (AC Milan), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) & Blaise Matuidi (PSG)
Talk about a star-studded midfield. Raiola’s career started first when he coordinated the move of the legendary Dutch midfielder Frank Rijkaard to AC Milan. More recently, he negotiated the massive £89 million world record transfer fee of Paul Pogba back to Manchester United, after they let him leave on a free transfer years before. Off that deal, Raiola made £24.1 million. He also coordinated the move of electric Dortmund midfielder Mkhitaryan to Manchester United to join forces with Pogba. Blaise Matuidi is one of the best defensive center midfielders that plays the game, and is also under Mino’s close care and watch.
Strikers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United),Pavel Nedved (Lazio & Juventus), Dennis Bergkamp (Inter Milan), and Mario Balotelli (Nice) Honorable Mention: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
This star studded group of players definitely have the most interesting and humorous stories in regards to their relationship with Mino, most notably Zlatan and Nedved. Mino negotiated the move of the Czech footballer Pavel Nedved from Sparta Prague to Lazio. Nedved, who is known for not liking change, then was alerted by Raiola in the middle of the night that he would be discretely moved to Juventus, and both Raiola and Nedved flew to Torino. As said, Zlatan was first introduced to Raiola by his best friend and team mate, Maxwell. From then, Raiola moved Zlatan from Ajax to Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, and finally to Manchester United. The saga for Zlatan may not be over however, reports surfacing that he informed Mino that he wants to finish his career at Napoli because he loves their mindset, culture, and lifestyle – with Mino behind the scenes, anything could happen. Along with those two legends, Raiola also moved Dutch legend Dennis Bergkamp (with other Dutchmen Wim Jonk) from Ajax to Barcelona. In the presence of these legendary strikers, we also find the very talented Mario Balotelli. Though his behavioural issues have been a problem, one cannot deny his talent, which has been back on show at Nice this season.