The world of football was plunged into shock in April when super-agent Mino Raiola died at the age of 54. The Dutch-Italian passed away at a hospital in Milan after suffering from a serious illness since January. Following his death, questions began about who would take charge of his agency, which represents stars such as Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Up stepped Rafaela Pimenta, branded “the most powerful woman in football”. The Brazilian has been thrust into the limelight since Raiola’s death, invoking curiosity about her life and career so far.

Who is Rafaela Pimenta?

According to The Athletic, Pimenta studied jurisprudence at the University of Sao Paulo before working in the antitrust division of the Brazilian Government. Her first encounter with Raiola was 22-years ago, at a charity match organised by Brazilian footballers Rivaldo and Cesar Sampaio. Pimenta had helped the duo set up Guaratinguetà, a small club in the state of Sao Paulo.

Pimenta has been a partner of Raiola’s agency for 18 years, and is believed to have had an instrumental role in some of the world’s biggest football transfers. She reportedly negotiated the finer details of Haaland’s £51.2m transfer to Manchester City, for example. In fact, Pimenta is one of only a handful of full-time employees at Raiola’s agency.

Which footballers does Rafaela Pimenta work with?

Following Raiola’s death, it is believed that Pimenta will continue to run the agency, with the help of his two sons. This will see Pimenta represent some of the best talents in world football, including Haaland, Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Donnarumma, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti, Mario Balotelli, Moise Kean, Alphonse Areola, Alessio Romagnoli, Adnan Januzaj and Noussair Mazraoui.

Pimenta is particularly close with Pogba. She appears in the Manchester United player’s new documentary, and is introduced to his children as “Auntie Rafa”.



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