“I heard you paint houses”. It is the phrase that acts as the detonator a Ireren, the latest masterpiece by Martin Scorsese. “Painting the houses” is a code message, the code of the much talked about trade unionist Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), and is, quite brutally, to “kill people”. Hoffa talks about this on the phone for the first time with Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), the man who many years later – metaphorically speaking – will paint the walls of his house.
Instead, Mino Raiola’s first deal was to move Dutch national team player Bryan Roy from Ajax to Foggia in 1992, suddenly slung by Van Gaal to Zeman. After throwing himself headlong into the exciting new adventure as a prosecutor, Raiola loved to do everything for his players: so he immediately agreed to whitewash his house, this time literally (“Now he does not really like it being remembered “, Roy will say many years later). A man who happily got his hands dirty, with anything.
It’s always difficult to combine Raiola with concepts like ethics and moral responsibility: one risks going for bigots, and it’s basically useless, because these are useless dilemmas that Mino and his brothers have solved brilliantly for a while. . Death, however, continues to function as a deadly level and at least for those of us who do not count for anything, it requires that we be sincere, neither absolutists nor hypocrites like so many presidents who sing their praises in these hours after heartily have been slaughtered for several years. Raiola was the symptom of many things that were not right, did not go and will continue not to go for a long time to come.
The transfer market’s media power, to the detriment of the football game itself, an annoying glimmer, of which we are reduced to seeing the highlights of the hunt for the individual shot on goal per game, which makes the assessment of a twenty-year mid-table jump to 35 million. The annoying feeling that is shared with many other spheres in the modern world, that there is a post-truth where certain players, certain coaches, certain real faces are worth more than others regardless, because they have a label of greater value on.
The regular suggestion given to many young players not to think for themselves, even not to think at all, “the mino thinks of it”, which is then rejected with a different name for all the other accusers: we still read it today in the lost answer from a Donnarumma who has not yet managed to explain the cause of so much hostility on the part of his former followers. The certainty that with money you can buy everything. Rudeness and vulgarity confused with style. But in all these things, Raiola was in good company.
Since Raiola was King Triton of this sea of sharks, Raiola certainly had much more courage and consistency than the many of his colleagues and alleged heirs who dream of imitating his deeds in pinstripes and glittering patent leather shoes without owning an ounce of his – som say – savoir faire. On January 31, I spent half a day in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Milan on the occasion of the festival of the degradation of the soul, which is the last day of the transfer market: around me dozens of sports directors, agents, middlemen and simple fixers with witty frames, beards anyway, amphetamine expression, an unrecognizable crowd of small coasters, in the midst of which there is no doubt Mino Raiola would have reigned as the number one he was.
Raiola was the king of the city who displayed an attraction that we in the Roman salons would define “peasant”, and it defined his character as few other things. But as proof that he was not a mafioso and that he never aimed the gun at anyone’s head, there are also players who came out of raiolismo, from Marek Hamsik to Romelu Lukaku, who felt betrayed by him (in the summer of 2017 had asked him to take him to Chelsea and instead was at Manchester United, “applying for divorce” a few months later) and had unkind words to him. A fire-eater who cared about the chaos and disorganization of the world got the very happy idea of going into the early nineties.
Give us the slightly ruthless metaphor: Raiola had the function in football that Fabrizio Corona had elsewhere, to exist and enrich himself to deprive the system of mediocrity and nail the leaders who have led football to a point where they can not turn back to their responsibilities. Rich in money and above all power, so much so that he can afford any behavior, every morning.
His tirade against malfunctioning wi-fi at the Ata Hotel in Milan has become famous: a scene adored by a social undergrowth in which the smargiassata is exalted and exalted to a rule of living and then bows his head in the real world. But only Raiola could have been Raiola: he leaves no heirs, he leaves no examples. The sport will neither grieve nor regret it. Of course, many players do it on the other hand: especially those of a certain type.
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