Mino Raiola Mk II? Meet Rafaela Pimenta, the successor to football’s super agent

Pimenta has stepped into Raiola’s role following the death of the legendary representative

Throughout his 54-year life, Mino Raiola has always had the talent to stand out in one way or another.

Whether in one of his many family restaurants, where he was responsible for everything – from administrative tasks to entertaining the guests.

A constant guest at the time was Andre van Eerden, president of the second division club HFC Haarlem, whom Raiola constantly annoyed with his criticism of the club’s politics and kept telling him how to do it right – until young Mino was hired as his sporting director in his early 20s.

Of course, that was just the beginning of young Mino’s career as a big figure in the football business.

He later attracted the attention of the football world as a long-time agent at many high-profile events.

There are other consulting giants like Jorge Mendes or Pini Zahavi, but Raiola has always made headlines.

Like Sir Alex Ferguson, with whom he negotiated a new deal for young Paul Pogba in 2012, who turned down the legendary Scot’s offer, telling him: “It’s an offer not even my Chihuahuas would sign.”

Ferguson then publicly called Raiola a “sucker.”

Various insults followed, but the Italian, who died on April 30, 2022, didn’t really care what others thought or said about him.

As long as he was able to assert the interests of his players, he accepted everything. Even if the quirky Scot denied his intelligence.

Ultimately, Raiola didn’t care what his players thought of him, after all they were just business partners, but most of his clients developed a very close relationship with him. Raiola didn’t give an individual player a consulting contract, but a bond of trust that ended up being much stronger than any piece of paper.

Haaland and Co. lost their consigliere

For Rafaela Pimenta, as a law professor, that must have been quite daunting at first.

The lawyer knows that in the tough business world, what counts in the end is what is on paper and what is signed. Especially when there is so much money in circulation and people tend to give up attributes like trust and promises for a few more bills.

But she came to terms with it and went the Raiola way. For more than 18 years, the Brazilian and the Italian worked side by side in a steadily growing consulting empire.

Raiola was a suspicious guy who didn’t let many people around him. Only his cousin Vincenzo, a communications expert, a scout, a secretary and Rafaela work in his agency one, based in Monaco.

Rafaela Pimenta

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And yet, for years, Raiola seemed like a one-man operation. When he died, many worried that his players would have to get by without their consigliere. It was almost touching how many seriously wondered what would become of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Erling Haaland and Co.

For the sake of decency, no one is said to have approached the players yet, but there will certainly be some advisors who want to help themselves take off one Rich.

However, the bounce rate probably won’t be all that high – if at all. It was only after Raiola’s death that it became clear that this was not just a one-man operation and the important role that Rafaela Pimenta, the only non-family person with shares in the company, played in the agency.

Rafaela Pimenta brought two players to Bayern

She didn’t even raise the suspicion of being incapacitated. First she bagged Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester City, then transferred Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax to Bayern Munich and is currently finalizing the final details of Paul Pogba’s return to Juventus.

Pimenta is an important person of trust for the latter. In the new Amazon She plays an important role in the documentary “The Pogmentary” and may get real publicity for the first time.

She can be seen in several sequences. You can see Pogba always asks the Brazilian for advice – even when it’s not about football. When Pogba talks about Pimenta with his kids, she is “Aunt Rafa”. She is close to the family, but negotiators should not be fooled by her diligence.

in the the athlete , an unnamed sporting director at a Premier League club, describes her not only as “the most important person in football that nobody knows” but also as “the toughest negotiator in football”. As she sits at the table, the lawyer comes out of her. Those in the know say Raiola got the clients, matched them with the clubs, but Pimenta was the protagonist when it came to contract details, handling the counterparties down to the last detail.

Rafaela Pimenta


She doesn’t know any different. After studying at the University of Sao Paulo, Pimenta worked for former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. She held an important position in the cartel office and was already notorious for her rigorous approach.

Rafaela Pimenta: From Rivaldo to Football

She was a passionate soccer player, but got to know the business through contacts. When Rivaldo and Cesar Sampaio founded a club called Guaratingueta in 1998, Pimenta stood by their side. When a benefit game was organized as a result, a guest from Europe also came: Mino Raiola. They got to know and appreciate each other and soon began working together. They trusted each other and had their roles.

Raiola was the public man who often wore his heart on his sleeve and tangled with many. Also with his players, who knew what they had in him and therefore mostly always remained loyal to him.

Few players leaving Raiola were on record. Romelu Lukaku is one of them, Borussia Mönchengladbach star Marcus Thuram is said to have left the agency shortly before Raiola’s death.

Pimenta was the doer in the background. Only what is allowed to penetrate, penetrates to the public. There is not even reliable information about how old she really is and what her family situation is. She doesn’t need PR to do her job well.

It is thanks to Raiola and Pimenta that they have had so much success. It is only logical that she is now taking on even more responsibility.

In the next few years, Raiola’s sons Mario and Gabriele could also play a role in the empire. They should already have a taste of the business and learn more about the business over the next few years.

Aunt Rafa will surely help him with that.

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