Super agent Mino Raiola, who died on Saturday at the age of 54, worked from a family pizza restaurant to a multi-million pound deal with big football stars.
Mino Rayola had a wonderful life.
The super agent, who died on Saturday at the age of 54, had never played the sport himself, but was undoubtedly one of the most famous people in football. As a representative of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli, Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and many others, he has always been in the spotlight.
He was outspoken, persistent, controversial, and unavoidable in football. Rayola, who spent 28 years in the game, has played a key role in creating the football world we know today, for better or worse.
Rayola has reached the pinnacle of his career as a football agent, but he is not dedicated to great things. The story he was proud of was remarkable and became the foundation of his work ethic and morality.
Born in Italy, Rayola and her large family moved from Salerno in the south of the country in 1968 to Haarlem in the Netherlands. They may have moved all over Europe, but the Rayola kept their relationship with their homeland and opened a pizza place. and, accordingly, in the large suburbs of Naples and Harlem. It was there that young Mino learned a lot about life.
Rayola did odd jobs at the family restaurant, waiting for the table and doing the laundry, while watching her father dedicate his heart and soul to the business. “My dad worked here 18 hours a day, sometimes 20 hours a day,” Rayola told The Financial Times in 2016. “He’s extreme at work. I went to work with him when I was 11 or 12 to meet my father. He was in the kitchen, so what can I do? I can wash.”
At a young age, Rayola helped her learn Dutch faster than any other member of her family. It has proven to be a valuable asset. As a teenager, he had already begun to focus on running a business: he would use his language to negotiate with banks on behalf of his father or even visit the mayor of Harlem.
Taste it, Rayola expanded. He founded Intermezzo and helped Dutch companies do business in Italy. At the age of 19, he became a millionaire, bought a McDonald’s branch and sold it to a real estate company.
Rayola wanted to pursue his true passion, the sport of football, so he left law school. He became the technical director of the local FC Haarlem club and took an ambitious step for anyone but Dennis Bergkamp. It didn’t work, but that didn’t stop Rayola from rising. Italy’s rise in Serie A after the 1990s came at a good time, allowing his company, Intermetso, to move to football.
In 1992, Intermetso took a big break when he helped Dutch winger Brian Royd Ajax move to Foggia, Italy. Sensing the opportunity, Rayola moved with Roy to Italy and began to connect with the country’s football world. He met Luciano Moggi, an important football manager, and in 1996 was instrumental in directing Pavel Nedvede’s move from Sparta Prague to Lazio.
Rayola’s work ethic, language skills, and determination saw her gradually move up the ladder. He had the eyes of a good player, put his right horse behind him, and knew which way the wind was blowing. He told The Financial Times: “It sounds arrogant. I’ve seen every change in the world of football before it happened.”
Rayola was not afraid to shake her feathers. He developed a very unique way of negotiating, which made him popular among his clients – he considered 99 percent of them to be friends – and was sometimes very reluctant to managers and club management.
He had a sword fight with Pep Guardiola, but the most famous disagreement was with Sir Alex Ferguson. Rayola discovered Pogba’s talent early and became his agent while he was developing at the Manchester United academy. He soon planned to transfer Pogba to Juventus, much to Ferguson’s dismay. Many years later, when asked why Pogba was allowed to move to Juventus in 2012, Ferguson said: “Pogba? He had a bad agent. Bag. I’ve lost faith in him since I met him.”
She and her clients were happy because Rayola couldn’t ignore Ferguson and anyone else’s opinion of her. He considered himself an outsider and was overjoyed to break the rules of the football hall.
However, he knew that no matter what role he played, he would be hated by some. Football transfers, huge sums of money, rival gangs, gossip and everything else have been a huge boost, especially in England, where Pogba’s transfer from Juventus to United in 2016 for £ 89 million has pushed his fame. to new heights.
“The image that we are bad people is false,” Rayola told The Athletic last year. “When I walk the streets of Italy, the Netherlands and France, I am respected by everyone. I feel there is more respect and gratitude for what I do (outside of England). “
However, they can think about what they like about him. “When I was a kid, my dad said 50 percent of the people in your life would love you and 50 percent would hate you,” he added. “So I didn’t come here to be loved and liked by everyone. I came here to love my family and my players. I don’t care about the rest.”
Meet former EFL star Robbie Simpson, who helps athletes find a career after sports.
FEATURES: Former champion striker Robbie Simpson founded LAPS (Professional Sport After Life) in 2016 to help athletes find their next career after leaving the sport.
The modern footballer is portrayed as a person with endless opportunities and cash, which allows them to retire early and enjoy the best of life.
However, the reality is quite different. Hundreds of athletes are looking for work, whether they want to make money or play a role in society. It can be a cruel experience for those who have been aiming for the top of the sport all their lives.
Former EFL star Robbie Simpson is trying to change that through his company LAPS (Life After Professional Sport), which aims to help current and former athletes take the next step in their careers. He was inspired to set up LAPS after a turbulent season.
Chelmsford City player-manager Simpson represented Coventry, Huddersfield, Brentford, Oldham, Leighton Orient, Cambridge, Exeter and MC Dons in the EFL. At the age of 27, the peak of his career was supposed to be the 2013-14 season, but it was a nightmare.
The free agent had hoped to leave Oldham in the summer of 2013 and move to the Championship side after testing at Wensaid in Blackburn, Doncaster and Sheffield, but nothing came of it. In an interview with Mirror Football, Simpson said, “Gary Bower [in Blackburn] doesn’t think that’s going to happen – that’s when the season started.”
The first and second leagues were interested in him in the early summer, but he signed someone else. Simpson was left without a club and no income. “I lived the same lifestyle because I thought I would at least have the same salary … I was always good with my money, but I used my savings and saw that every month it went down fast.
“It could be the end of my professional football career. It just hit me the moment I thought it would go up. I didn’t know where to turn, where to look, what to do. I haven’t written a CV since I was 18 or 21 … I didn’t have a LinkedIn account or anything like that. I didn’t have instructions on what to do. “
Simpson contacted the Professional Football Association (PFA) to resolve the issue. He was advised to wear a coaching badge, which is not something that many footballers are interested in.
“I signed up for a coaching badge and asked, ‘Do I have a job?’ They said, ‘Have you seen our recruitment page on our website?’ There were three jobs for the coach.
“I registered for my UEFA B [coach badge] and asked the coach: ‘How many people will do UEFA B this year?’ He said: ‘About 2,000.’ And he bragged … I said, ‘How many jobs do you think there will be when you become a professional football coach this year?’ And he said, “You’ll be lucky if you’re 250. It really affected the house.”
Simpson also added himself to the PFA’s transfer list, but there were 300 other strikers. The striker panicked at the role and admitted that not everyone would find a way back to football. “I was worried about them … I need to do more for players who were at the club before and now don’t have a club.”
Although Simpson’s EFL career revived at the end of that season – with a contract with Leighton Orient – he now knew how quickly his career could end. He wanted to help his colleagues, and after a chance encounter with recruiter Rob Steed on LinkedIn, he realized how much the former athletes were in demand.
At the time, Steed was recruiting for five companies, three of which were looking for athletes with years of craftsmanship. They are considered to be enthusiastic, determined, good communicators and leaders. Athletes can learn from their failures, analyze and guide their performance.
Knowing this, Simpson and Steed set up LAPS. The free service for athletes now has about 5,000 members aged 16-65, including those who are just starting their careers, thinking about life after sports and wanting to learn about new opportunities.
“I wanted to do it as a project of passion. Instead of making money from everyone, especially athletes who want to make money from footballers, I wanted to give it back and support. Were there a lot of people who wanted my money to invest or not?” That’s funny. If these athletes have that desire, businesses have to pay for it. “
Simpson, who is nearing the end of his football career, is well aware of the challenges facing athletes. “One, it’s easy to show, financial hardship. They paid very good money. It’s different for each player, whether they use it wisely or not.
“It’s often hard to find a job to pay off your mortgage and support your family. You may have money for a few years … but after that year, they really need to find a job.
“You can get players who make really good money, become entrepreneurs or want to buy a franchise. We have a franchise page that they can do. We have a career, property, investment and so on.
“Another challenge is to find what they want to do. They’ve wanted to play sports since they were kids, and that’s the only thing they’ve focused on. They can turn around to find different passions and different interests. The next big challenge is to get into a career.” is.
“And from the outside, everyone sees them as footballers and Olympians, and all of a sudden they’re not. In that sense, there’s a real identity crisis.”
LAPS provides support and guidance, as well as workshops across the country. “When I spoke at the players’ orphanage, a Premier League member came up to me and said, ‘I like what you’re saying, I really want to know more about LAPS.’ to give them … to encourage them to start thinking about their future outside of football. “
All sports organizations that support the Simpson LAPS are needed if the Premier League is involved but every athlete wants to benefit from this service. “My ultimate goal is for anyone who becomes a professional athlete or a sponsored athlete to automatically send a LAPS membership electronically or by mail for free.
“To do this, we need to take all kinds of sports, such as the Professional Footballers’ Association, for example, the Rugby Players’ Association, the Professional Cricketers’ Association, the British Athletics Federation and the British Sports Institute.”
“I think LAPS will grow really fast if we can make purchases from governing bodies to facilitate marketing, knowledge, and membership.”
The challenge facing Simpson and his colleagues is powerful, but not impossible. LAPS has grown significantly since its inception and can help more athletes with the support of governing bodies. There is life after sports, but not everyone knows it.