Mino Raiola, soccer super agent, dies at age 54

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Soccer super agent Mino Raiola dies at age 54 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Mino Raiola, one of the most influential agents in world soccer, has died following a battle with illness, his family announced in a statement on Saturday. He was 54 years old.

"In infinite sorrow we share the passing of the most caring and amazing football agent that ever was," the statement from Raiola's family read. "Mino fought until the end with the same strength he put on negotiation tables to defend our players. As usual, Mino made us proud and never realized it.

"Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football. His presence will forever be missed. Mino's mission of making football a better place for players will continue with the same passion.

"We thank everybody for the huge amount of support received during these difficult times and ask for respect to the privacy of family and friends in this moment of grief."

Raiola was admitted to Milan, Italy's San Raffaele Hospital in January. Jose Fortes Rodrigues, Raiola's business partner, told ESPN on Thursday that Raiola was "fighting for his life" after premature reports of his passing surfaced.

Raiola responded to the reports via Twitter on Thursday with the message: "Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in four months they kill me. Seem also able to resuscitate."

Raiola was born in Italy and began working as an agent in the late 1980s. The super agent represented some of the world's biggest soccer stars, from Manchester United's Paul Pogba to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He oversaw Pogba's transfer from Juventus to Machester United in 2016 for a then-record fee of £89.3 million.