Raiola: “my players are all sick in the head” – exclusively in sport1 interview about haaland transfer& upcoming transfers

Niclas Lowendorf

Mino Raiola is one of the most enigmatic personalities on the player advisor scene – and lives in dazzling Monaco.

In the principality, where the square meter in the purchase price at 100.000 euros, the Italo-Dutchman has his office in the city. In this he now received SPORT1 and spoke more honestly than ever about his life, his career and his players.

In the first part of the interview, Raiola already revealed why posters of James Bond hang in his office, why he is called the "pizza maker" and how his career got started. In the second part, he gives an insight about the situation of some of his clients like Erling Haaland, talks about his values, his children and why he declares war on FIFA. Raiola holds the interview, which lasts almost two hours, in German. He also speaks Italian, Dutch, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

SPORT1: Mr. Raiola, the contract of world champion Paul Pogba, whom you represent, with Manchester United expires in the summer. Is a transfer to the Bundesliga possible?

Mino Raiola: This is not possible because the mentality of the Germans is different. You cannot and do not want to pay these high salaries. The only German club that could is Bayern Munich. But even they don’t come close to Paul’s salary. Germans are rather at the bottom of the international salary pyramid.

SPORT1: Isn’t that a shame for the Bundesliga?

Raiola: I do not find that. German soccer is very healthy as a result. You do it well. The 50+1 rule is sacred to the Germans. You don’t take any risks and I think that’s good. (All news about the Bundesliga)

BVB: Raiola talks about Haaland switch

SPORT1: Do you think that this rule will be overturned at some point??

Raiola: So far, the Germans have done quite well with it. Also in the Bundesliga are clubs like Leipzig, Hoffenheim or Wolfsburg – did they break the system? No. The Bundesliga shows that great soccer is possible even with the 50+1 rule. When you see the passion of the people in Dortmund, that’s great. Every player loves this yellow wall, including Erling. He came because he wanted to play in front of these stands. Incidentally, it would have been much easier and perhaps even better for Dortmund to sell Erling in the summer. But they said no for footballing reasons. That deserves my greatest respect.

SPORT1: However, due to an exit clause, which is in the range of 75 to 90 million euros, Dortmund would earn less this summer.

Raiola: A transfer last summer would definitely have been better for them economically. But they looked after the good of the club, the fans, the team and the success. I have a lot of respect for this decision. The Dortmunders have balls! (All current transfer rumors in the SPORT1 transfer ticker)

SPORT1: To stay in your words: Haaland is currently driving an S63 AMG with Dortmund, but could soon be driving a Rolls Royce or a Bentley as well.

Raiola: These are all super cars. Of course he can drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini, sure. He can and will take the next step. Bayern, Real, Barcelona, City – these are the big clubs he can go to. City have won the championship five times in recent years, significantly more than United. We all knew at the time of the move to Dortmund that this step was coming.

SPORT1: When will this step be?

Raiola: Maybe this summer, maybe the summer after. However, there is a big chance that Erling will leave this summer already. We will see.

Raiola: "This will be a funny summer"

SPORT1: What are the arguments for a change?

Raiola: He is someone who wants to develop, who is looking for new challenges. And it is of course a question of alternative. You only switch if you have a better alternative. (Champions League results and schedule)

SPORT1: A player like Haaland can choose the club after all.

Raiola: I don’t know. We have to look. This is going to be a very strange summer. We play soccer for a month and a half, then everything stops and we go to Qatar for the World Cup. That’s disconcerting.

SPORT1: In the winter, you want to sit down with BVB and discuss the Haaland future. (Rumors and news in the transfer ticker)

Raiola: Correct. We have always done it this way.

Communication with BVB "very open"

SPORT1: Will a decision be made in the next few weeks?

Raiola: I don’t think so yet. We will tell BVB what our idea is and BVB will tell us their ideas. In the winter, however, no decision will be made yet.

SPORT1: Is it true that the clause is between 75 and 90 million euros?

Raiola: Listen: Whatever is in a contract is in a contract. That remains between me and the player. There are only two parties that are allowed to say something to the outside world: The club and the player. I never talk about details. We and Dortmund know exactly what has to happen. We have structured this very clearly. Contract or not: With Watzke, Zorc and now Kehl we always have a very open communication. We deal with each other honestly. That is much more important than anything written on paper. Paper is only for when something goes wrong, that’s what you need. But otherwise not.

"I’m not doing anything I’m not allowed to do"

SPORT1: Together with the German consultant Roger Wittmann (Rogon), with the Portuguese Jorge Mendes (Gestifute) and the Englishman Jonathan Barnett (Stellar) you have The Football Forum (TFF) established. What is it about?

Raiola: We developed this idea three years ago. Everybody knows my opinion about FIFA. We don’t need this place in Europe. 97 percent of soccer’s income comes from Europe. I don’t know why we give our authority to a corrupt place like FIFA. That’s why we have TFF Founded. We want to create a new soccer system. In this system, clubs, players and agents act together under the UEFA flag. We don’t want FIFA to dictate from above what they think and what is supposedly good for soccer. They use us consultants in a demagogic way to hide their own problems. They point the finger at us: the consultants are the bad guys. They want to distract from their problems. They all have zero idea. Every two years a world cup, what is this nonsense?

SPORT1: FIFA wants to cap the commission of player advisors at around three percent and also have access to all money flows and accounts.

Raiola: FIFA is about power and regulating the flow of money so that they can squeeze something out for themselves. Mendes, Barnett, Wittmann and I have joined forces as the biggest consultants on the market. We have a responsibility for our players and also for the small agents. It is not about me. Look around here, I’ve earned enough money for myself and my family. I don’t need the money. I am concerned with justice. Why do we have to ask FIFA for permission when a Bayern Munich player goes to Real Madrid?? Why can’t it be done through a European system? Why does FIFA have this authority. FIFA is an old, colonial system. 200 years ago it might have been timely, but now? We have to make soccer more honest, for the fans and the players. And you know what: This stupid thought, you don’t need agents, that’s bullshit. Without us there will be no transfer. The clubs need us. How many clubs do you think come to me and ask: "Mino, can you help us and bring this player to us??" (NEWS: All the latest info on the Champions League)

SPORT1: But a little more transparency would be good for the opaque consulting business, don’t you think??

Raiola: It’s not about transparency. I have no problem with that. I have been investigated by every institution in the world. This is probably the consequence of my status. I have no problem with it. I do nothing that I am not allowed to do.

Raiola: We are not criminals

SPORT1: So it’s okay for you if a possible Haaland transfer of 90 million euros is disclosed that they receive 30 million euros in commission, for example?

Raiola: I have no problem saying what I earn. I have a problem with people treating us like criminals. That’s not us. I have no one here in my agency who is a criminal. They should rather sweep at the FIFA times before own door. Does FIFA say that World Cup tickets in South Africa or other poor countries don’t cost more than 5 euros?? No. FIFA always points at us consultants. They want to cap our commissions. FIFA doesn’t really regulate the transfer expenses of the clubs. The Financial Fairplay is a joke. What comes next? A salary cap for players? That is the responsibility of the clubs after all. You also pay the commissions to us. What do we need FIFA for?? They want transparency? Then they should start with themselves. Why don’t they bring their main business to Cologne? Why is it in Switzerland? How are World Cups awarded? I really wonder why the DFB or other associations are still with FIFA? They could say: "You are corrupt, I won’t go to you." Infantino should bring FIFA to North Korea, that would fit well. I personally, Mino Raiola, think that FIFA is nothing! We need a new soccer system – and I’m going to win this fight. I am not afraid of anyone, especially not of FIFA!

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