Mino Raiola is rarely far from the footballing headlines, the super-agent once again in the news this week following a much publicised spat with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Italian-born Dutchman is a major power and has some of the world’s finest talent as his clientele, with Raiola often unafraid to speak his mind when it comes to ‘protecting’ the stars he manages.
Following his latest outburst, we’ve decided to revisit some his the most memorable moments, here are 10 of Mino Raiola’s most controversial quotes…
Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property, Paul is Paul Pogba’s. pic.twitter.com/CvBHW8mj8U
— Mino Raiola (@MinoRaiola) February 17, 2020
“Pogba’s problem is Manchester United. It’s a club out of touch with reality and without a sporting project. I wouldn’t take anyone there. They would even ruin [Diego] Maradona, Pele and [Paolo] Maldini.” – It’s fair to say there’s previous between club and agent.
“I’m not trying to judge him as a coach – although, for me, he’s not a good coach – but he didn’t understand that Balotelli is, whatever else, a person. Mario has been exemplary. He never complained about training alone. To say that it was wrong of Klopp would be an understatement. He was a piece of s*** about it.” – Solskjaer is not the only Premier League manager to have come under-fire, Jurgen Klopp previously facing Raiola’s wrath.
“Pep Guardiola, the coach, is fantastic. As a person he’s an absolute zero. He’s a coward, a dog.” – Not a fan of Pep either then, Mino?
“I think Cruyff and Guardiola can go to a mental hospital together, shut up, sit there and play cards together. They would do football and Barcelona a great service.” Raiola and client Zlatan Ibrahimovic would endure a long running feud with Guardiola and Johan Cruyff, with the agent never afraid to engage in verbal warfare with the Catalan club legends.
“He’s a classic priest. ‘Do as I tell you – don’t do what I do….’ If Manchester City win the Champions League this season it will emphasise what a good coach he is – but I’ll hate it. I went for him that night in the corridors at Wembley [after Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final in 2011] – only Adriano Galliani, AC Milan’s chairman, stopped me. Lucky for Guardiola.” It’s safe to say Pep isn’t on Mino’s Christmas card list.
“I argue with Real Madrid, if it’s necessary. I told Florentino Perez once that he uses players like gloves. If he doesn’t like them, he’ll get a different pair. He didn’t like that, but I told him nonetheless.” – Sounds fair enough.
“Some people need to talk for fear of being forgotten. Paul Scholes wouldn’t recognise a leader is he was in front of Sir Winston Churchill” – An interesting take on Scholes following his criticism of Paul Pogba’s apparent lack of leadership.
“Sepp Blatter is a demented dictator.” – Rarer than rocking horsesh*t, a Raiola quote we actually agree with.
“It’s incomprehensible that some FAs still vote for Blatter. If people vote Blatter, they are voting North Korea, if they vote me, they are voting South Korea.” – Mino Raiola, man of the people.
“If Mario Balotelli had Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head, Lionel Messi would have fewer Ballon d’Or awards.” – We’re not quite sure what to make of this one, to be honest.