He cut his teeth in business in his father’s chain of Italian restaurants, bought a villa once owned by Al Capone and was one of the few men in football to get the better of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Mino Raiola, it is fair to say, is not your typical football agent. Born in Salerno, on Italy’s Amalfi coast, but raised in Holland, Raiola has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the sport’s biggest powerbrokers.
His clients may not be great in number – they totalled just 51 last September – but what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality.
Players on his books include not just Paul Pogba, whose world record transfer from Juventus to Manchester United last summer is now the subject of a probe by Fifa, the sport’s world governing body, but his United teammates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Everton forward Romelu Lukaku and Italy striker Mario Balotelli.