Mario Balotelli has paid tribute to his "second father" Mino Raiola in an emotional social media post following the football agent's death.
Raiola passed away aged 54, his family confirmed on Saturday (April 30), following a battle with lung disease. He was a well-known figure in the sport, representing some of the biggest stars with the likes of Erling Haaland and Paul Pogba amongst his clientele.
Former Manchester City striker Balotelli was another high-profile player that Raiola looked after, with their relationship more than just a professional association. He took to Instagram to share a picture of them laughing together at a game and express his sorrow.
"You will always be with me in life and in football! Your reproaches, aids, advice, jokes and strategies will always be in my head," the Italian wrote.
"I LOVE YOU AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU as a second father and I know that from up there you will always be present in our lives! Have a good trip Mino #RIP."
Balotelli had previously hit out at premature reports that Raiola had died on Thursday, when he was in fact still alive. He posted: "You need to be first huh? Shame on you and seriously be ashamed of your education, respect, values and responsibilities! #StayStrongMino."
Fellow Raiola client Haaland shared his own tribute, uploading a picture of them together which he captioned “The best”. Another of those to pay their respects was Everton forward Moise Kean, currently on loan at Juventus.
"I still can’t believe it, you took me out from the streets and you made me learn so many principles in life," he wrote. "To be honest, it’s not a goodbye for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart. R.I.P BIG Boss."
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