Popular football agent, Mino Raiola, who represented some of the game’s most high-profile players, has died at the age of 54.
The Dutch-Italian’s stable of players included Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Raiola was also president of the Football Forum, which represented leading agents and their players.
“His presence will be forever missed,” the Raiola family said in a statement.
It read: “In infinite sorrow, we share the passing of the most caring and amazing football agent that ever was.
“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 realised it.
“Mino touched so many lives through his work and wrote a new chapter in the history of modern football.”
The statement added: “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, who was also a controversial and influential figure in world football had run-ins with a series of managers, including former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
There were claims that Raiola earned £41m from Pogba’s then world-record £89m transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016 and, while that intensified criticism of agents, Raiola insisted the perception of greed and excess was unfair.
“It’s not nice always to hear this same preconception,” Raiola said last year.
“But maybe the public can also think: ‘If this man is so greedy and so bad, how are his players all happy and stay with him?’
“My players don’t call me a parasite, and that’s who I work for. I only care what my players call me.”
Raiola had also spoken of his opposition to Fifa – world football’s governing body – bringing in new regulations for agents.