Nijkamp knows Raiola well: ‘We were immediately invited to Juventus because of him’

When Mino Raiola called, Gerard Nijkamp always answered the phone. The sad news of his death has also affected the technical director of Sparta. During his time at PEC Zwolle, Nijkamp regularly dealt with him.

Raiola has been ill for some time, and on Saturday was announced dead at the age of 54. “It came on for a while, so sad he’s not there anymore. I knew he was sick and things were going, but when you hear this, you swallow,” Nijkamp says.

Raiola visited the center regularly, where Nijkamp served as technical director for seven years. “Our relationship was excellent, sitting at the table with him was a great feeling. He also helped me a lot in training. He gave me tips on how to run the club and the best way to make deals. Mino always took the lead and decided how the process went, no matter what you think. I extracted things The positivity from that that I still benefit from today.”

“Loved by players, feared by clubs,” he wrote. telegraph Well deservedly about Raiola. Negotiating with Raiola was not always a club party. Ask Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United or AC Milan. However, Nijkamp wasn’t sweating at the table with Haarlemmer. “I haven’t experienced it that way. Mino went completely for his players, but he also thought often with the club. We wanted to hire Sheraldo Becker from Ajax and I had to talk about it with Marc Overmars, but Mino has already discussed it with Marc ‘how should I This is done then share it with me. It took five minutes. Adriaan Visser (Former PEC President, Editor) has also played an important role in our relationship with Mino. We’ve often worked together on these.”

Raiola did not ask for a commission
“It wasn’t that he was trying to get an extra bonus or a higher rental price. My experience is that he was very thoughtful. He never asked for commissions, but wanted to be involved in a future transfer and that was his right. – Winning situation: The player was successful and could then take A good move and we had the player we wanted.”

Was Raiola harder on the big clubs and more moderate on the smaller ones? Nijkamp: “Well, you might say that, but I also did a deal with Philip Sandler for Manchester City, Mino was good and limited.”

Nijkamp with former President of the Presidential Election Commission, Adrian Visser

Thanks to Raiola, PEC has been able to get players it couldn’t get otherwise. “Sure. Mino, for example, was able to make me sit down with the Juventus management. There was not only talk, for example, about Ouasim Bouy, but also about young players. Thanks to Mino. A number of doors were opened for me and for the company PEC Zwolle during that time.”

What if Nijkamp himself had called Juventus without any interference from Raiola? “Then it comes differently. We were immediately invited to Juventus and the club also took time. In the end it’s about relationships. I also tested that with Lazio Roma. We made a deal (Rizza Dormese from Lazio to Sparta, ed.), but for the future It was also important to create a relationship.”

Raiola was known to the public as the tough, hairy negotiator who made it difficult for clubs and thought only of his own wallet. Nijkamp has seen the other side, too. “We live in a world full of vanity where everyone wants to be right, but it’s not so black and white. I’ve also seen shades of gray, though some things were really non-negotiable with him. You can’t tell me he didn’t think Except in himself, because as I said: He didn’t try to get the most out of his can and let his mission go. I liked it: sharing with each other.”

Since Raiola absorbed many players in Zwolle, PEC was also jokingly referred to as “FC Raiola”. “That’s totally black and white. When Mino called, he got right to the point. He always introduced players that piqued our interest, but you shouldn’t think about it for too long, because then he made the switch again. And it wasn’t like that. We said ‘Yes’. ” For everything “.

“Mino was the first to call me Doniel Malin, who was still playing for Arsenal at the time. Malin was a player in development, but we already had several of them. We needed experience, so he let Doniel walk. Then he went to PSV As with any other broker, you can take a serious look at the players you are being offered. Either you do it or you don’t. If you have four or five players from the same broker, so be it. How our world works.” .

“Sheraldo Becker and Ben Rienstra have done a great job at PEC and Bouy has also definitely been worth it. I dare you run the house to label. Sandler played in the youth ranks at Ajax at the time and was commanded by Mino. He made a great transfer to Manchester City. I still forget skamka. He did not appear in the PEC club, but he has evolved fantastically and is now in the picture in the major clubs. All the great players that I am so grateful to Mino for, regardless of whether they look at them perverted or not.”

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