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Raiola: Italian football is up s*** creek

Raiola: Italian football is up s*** creek

The agent has slammed top-level Italian clubs for failing to invest in the infrastructure of the game, while he has also taken aim at Bundesliga chiefs, too

Mino Raiola has criticised Italian football for its lack of investment in stadia and youth systems, while he has blasted German football for its "amateur" sporting directors.

In a lengthy interview with German publication 11Freunde, the well-known football agent, who represents the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, said Italian football is going nowhere at the moment, while German football continues to progress

"Football has an incredible force," Raiola said. "It can move so much. Look at Italy. They are up s*** creek. Why doesn't anybody invest in the infrastructure or the stadiums? In youth academies?

"That's what impresses me about Germans, this perfect organisation, this masterplan, which was implemented with the 2006 World Cup. Now, almost 10 years later, we see where the consequent work with young talent has led Germany.

"It was a perfectly implemented vision. And football needs visions. I've spent half a lifetime in football. What gives me most pleasure is to see if a dream comes true. If I see the development and progress Mkhitaryan has made it gives me pleasure."

Despite his praise, Raiola pointed out weaknesses in German football, particularly what he feels to be the incompetence of sporting directors at some Bundesliga clubs.

"The Bundesliga is perfectly organised, like everything in Germany. It's the league of the moment, but it has two big shortcomings: the foreign marketing and - I am always stunned about this - the lack of professionalism among the sporting directors.

"They have real bunglers there, you just have to say that. You already see that when some managers ask: "Mino who?" if I'm calling. With all respect, a sporting director who doesn't know Mino Raiola should better look for a different job.

"I would even say there are nowhere near as many amateurs in high positions at other leages as there are in the Bundesliga. There are only a few exceptions. [Hans-Joachim] Watzke at Borussia Dortmund, [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge at Bayern and [Oliver] Kreuzer at Hamburg are highly professional, they have expertise and integrity.

"But most of the German sporting directors have just no clue of the matter they deal with. That's why they work with club-owned agents who negotiate in their place. If you are not ready to communicate about this middleman you cannot make any deal with them. That already happened to me at Schalke."

He then went on to shed some light on how he negotiates deals for his players, revealing that he can earn over €25 million in a single transfer in some cases.

"I am doing a lot of transfers for free. I see this as some kind of investment in my player. If his value goes up, I get the revenue in the future.

"I have done transfers for free and for some I received 50 per cent. For example, if a player directly belongs to me and a club offers €50m, of which I get half, but the player only earns €100,000 salary, then another club pays only €10m, but pays a salary of €500,000 I decide to earn €5m from that deal.

"Most of the agents are in a conflict of interest in this case. I'm not, I always choose the better option for my player."

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