Rafaela Pimenta, the agent of Paul Pogba and Erling Haaland, has spoken about her experiences in the game so far, how she has often been treated unfairly in the industry and the future of the Manchester City striker.
Following Mino Raiola’s unfortunate death, Pimenta has taken a much more prominent role in affairs at the late super-agent’s agency. She has come under the public eye whenever there has been speculation around the likes of Paul Pogba, Gigio Donnarumma and even Erling Haaland.
Having said that, working in the football industry as a woman comes with a fair amount of problems and in an interview with Corriere della Sera, Pimenta spoke about those issues.
“They insulted me many times. Many think that women are inferior. Some use it as a strategy, others really think about it. Once in Italy a manager said to me: “Are you really a lawyer? I thought you were a Brazilian prostitute.” I replied: “Even if I were, you would still have to pay the premium to my client”. This was a few years ago. Luckily things are getting better today.”
She further spoke about whether being a woman in the industry is an advantage or not and she responded: “Feminine sensitivity is an added value, for sure. I am protective like a mother, sometimes too protective. To my boys, that’s what I call them, I also give advice on girlfriends: always remember to behave yourself and treat them as you would like your sisters to be treated. I do not accept rudeness, towards women and beyond.”
Pimenta also revealed how she first met Mino Raiola back in her younger days and she said: “In Brazil, I was working as an antitrust lawyer for President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Then one day, my partner asks me for a legal hand for a football club owned by Rivaldo and César Sampaio.
“I go to their office and there’s a guy sitting there smoking like crazy and asking a thousand questions. We argue, because he wants to know more about me. A couple of months go by and he calls me back: “do you want to work with me?” I didn’t want to, because I already had a good position. Then I gave in. And there it all began. I left Brazil and arrived in Europe.”
Pimenta also revealed that when Raiola was struggling with illness before his death, she considered quitting but she carried on for Mino and the late superagent’s clients.
In the interview, she also stated that Haaland could become the first champion of the metaverse in the modern-day and that he will break all the records in the game.
“He will be the first footballer to be worth a billion. Think of what he generates at the age of just 22 – trophies, sponsors, marketing, social media, content. How much can a club bring? Not only in the so-called real world, but also in the digital world. He will be the first champion of the metaverse. The future is there. He has it all: strength, humility. But his real strength is normality. His secret is his family: his father, a former footballer, helped him a lot. He will break all records.”
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN