Carmine “Mino” Raiola born 4 November 1967 – 28 April 2022) was an Italian football agent representing a number of well known players including Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Verratti, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Matthijs de Ligt, Erling Haaland, Mario Balotelli Pavel Nedvěd.
Raiola was born in 1967 in Nocera Inferiore, Salerno, in southern Italy. He moved to the Dutch city of Haarlem a year later with his parents. Growing up in the Netherlands, his father opened a successful restaurant business where Raiola spent his younger years working as a waiter. At the same time, he obtained his high school diploma and attended university for two years, enrolling in the Faculty of Law. He started playing football for the youth team of HFC Haarlem, but stopped at age 18 in 1987 to become head of the youth team.
After a brief venture as a player and administrator, Raiola remained involved in the football world, this time as a football agent. He began working at Sports Promotions, a sports agent company, and assisted in the transfers of several high-profile Dutch players to Italian clubs, including Ajax player Bryan Roy (in 1992 to Foggia), Marciano Vink (in 1993 to Genoa), Wim Jonk and Dennis Bergkamp (both in 1993 to Internazionale) and Michel Kreek (in 1994 to Padua). After a while, however, he decided to leave the company and start his own business. His first independent big transfer was Pavel Nedvěd‘s signing from Sparta Prague for Lazio following his impressive performance at UEFA Euro 1996, where Nedvěd’s Czech Republic reached the final.
More than 20 players playing in European leagues were represented by Raiola. He resided in Monaco. In 2008, he was involved in two disciplinary hearings instigated by the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) for transfer irregularities as part of a wider investigation of professional football by Italian authorities.
In August 2016, after closing the world record transfer of Paul Pogba to Manchester United, Raiola made a reported €25 million from Pogba’s €105 million transfer; subsequently he bought the former Miami home of one of America’s most famous mob bosses, Al Capone, for €9 million.
On 8 May 2019, the Italian Football Federation banned Raiola from acting as an agent representative for three months for undisclosed reasons, while his cousin Vincenzo Raiola was banned for two months. On 10 May, the bans were extended worldwide after the FIFA Disciplinary Committee absorbed the Italian federation’s decisions. On 13 June 2019, after Raiola and his cousin appealed the original ban to the Federal Court of Appeal in Italy, they won, resulting in a revoking of the three-month ban.
On 22 January 2020, Raiola was among a number of high profile football agents including Jorge Mendes and Jonathan Barnett who threatened FIFA with legal sanctions following the planned cap on transfer payments.
Raiola spoke seven languages: Italian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Dutch.
He died on 28 April 2022, at the age of 54, after battling a lung disease.