Who is Mino Raiola? The super agent representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba & more

Mino Raiola Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Italy-born Dutchman is one of the most well-known and elite football agents in the industry and has built up an impressive reputation

Mino Raiola is one of the most powerful figures in football, responsible for handling stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Matthijs de Ligt and Romelu Lukaku.

Most of his work is conducted behind the scenes, but he has a significant influence in the transfer market and has a glowing roster of some of the most elite names in the sport.

But who exactly is Raiola, and what does he do? Goal takes a look.

Who is Mino Raiola & which players does he represent?

Mino Raiola

Raiola is a so-called 'super agent', and past and present clients of his include the aforementioned Ibrahimovic, De Ligt, Pogba and Lukaku as well as the likes of Mario Balotelli, Hirving Lozano, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Moise Kean, Blaise Matuidi and Lorenzo Insigne.

In football, a super agent is the term used to describe someone who is extremely effective at their job and are able to earn a salary of millions, wielding considerable power and influence in the market.

Acting as the intermediary who handles the business between a club and a player, agents are required to negotiate contracts and salary, oversee lucrative sponsorship deals, organise media appearances and provide journalists with interview access.

Agents such as Raiola boast comprehensive client profiles that include the most influential stars and the biggest earners in the sport. Raiola's roster and reputation, as well as his negotiation skills and contacts, marks him out as a powerful individual for clubs to deal with.

He closed the then world-record transfer of Pogba to Manchester United in 2016 while also making a profitable return himself, pocketing a reported €25 million (£22m) for the France international's €105m (£92m/$117m) move.

Born in Italy but raised in the Netherlands, Raiola got his career to a start by expanding his parents' restaurant business.

Having not had the chops to make it as a professional footballer himself, Raiola was appointed Haarlem's sporting director at just 19 years of age after the club was so impressed by his entrepreneurial skills.

Following his time at Haarlem, he moved into work at sports agent company Sports Promotions and assisted in the transfers of high-profile Dutch footballers to Italian clubs, including Ajax player Bryan Roy (to Foggia in 1992), Marciano Vink (to Genoa in 1993), Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergamp (to Inter in 1993) and Michel Kreek (to Padua in 1994).

Shortly after, he decided to leave the sports agency to form his own business, with his first major course of action overseeing the transfer of Pavel Nedved from Sparta Prague to Lazio following his stellar performance at Euro 1996.

Raiola speaks seven languages in Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of £50m (€57m).

As an agent for such high-profile clients, he has has a habit of landing himself in headlines and, in August 2018, publicly tweeted his defence of Pogba, who at the time was the subject of criticism from former Manchester United player Paul Scholes.

You can read Goal's in-depth guide to football super agents here.

What is the latest controversy involving Mino Raiola?

In May 2019, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) handed Raiola a three-month transfer ban (and his brother a two-month ban), with the suspension initially applying to Italian territories but FIFA later extending it to a "worldwide effect".

FIGC gave no specific reasons for the ban, stating: "The Sports Procurators Commission, any other exception, deduction and defence rejected, condemns Mr Carmine [Mino] Raiola and Mr Vincenzo Raiola, on his own behalf and as legal representatives of the companies they represent to sanction of the suspension from the exercise of the activity of sports attorney to the extent, respectively: with regard to Mr. Carmine Raiola, of three months, with regard to Mr. Vincenzo Raiola, of two months."

But the latest news could have repercussions for Raiola's big-name clients who have been relying on him to oversee moves before next season.

Breakthrough Ajax captain and starlet De Ligt, who is represented by Raiola, has been hotly-tipped to follow team-mate Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona, while Pogba is also the subject of heavy transfer speculation following a turbulent season at Old Trafford.

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Raiola has moved to reassure his clients that potential business in the coming transfer window would not be affected and that he would work to contest FIGC's decision, but with FIFA having extended the suspension to apply worldwide, it is unknown how the futures of his players will be dealt with.

Raiola tweeted in response: "I will seek justice against this injustice and for freedom of speech in every legal court possible to me as my main task is in the interest of Italian football.

"I will proudly conduct this fight in order to obtain what it is in conformity with law. This discussion is contained to the Italian territory and has no repercussion on the players I represent."