Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham on bringing in big-name players
Former Italian star midfielder Gennaro “Rino” Gattuso has emerged as a leading candidate to become Inter Miami’s first coach, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Gattuso, 41, resigned as coach of AC Milan in late-May after the team finished in fifth place in Serie A, one spot short of qualification for the Champions League. According to La Gazzetta, Gattuso has been in serious talks with former Milan teammate David Beckham about coaching Beckham’s Miami Major League Soccer team.
Beckham and Gattuso played alongside each other at Milan in 2009-10. Gattuso played 468 matches for Milan from 1999-2012 and wore the captain’s armband after Paolo Maldini retired. During his career, he won Champions League titles, Serie A championships, and played in three World Cups with the Italian national team, including the 2006 championship team.
Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said last week that the team was “very close” to naming its first head coach, and that it would be “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.”
Gattuso took over Milan in 2017 after coaching the club’s U19 team. He went on to win 40 games, lose 20 and tie 22, and the team’s fifth-place finish was its best since 2012-13, but he opted to leave.
Gattuso’s departure from Milan was an emotional one. He had two years left on his contract, but chose to step down and asked that his remaining salary be divided among his assistant coaches.
“Deciding to leave Milan’s bench is not easy but it’s a decision I had to make,” he said, according to Repubblica. “There was not a precise moment in which I decided, it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of a team that for me will never be like the others. Months that I lived with great passion, unforgettable months.
“Mine is a painful but thoughtful choice. Am I giving up a two-year contract? Yes, because my story with Milan can never be a question of money.”
According to La Gazzetta, he recently turned down the coaching job at French club Nantes. He was also linked with the Newcastle job in England, but they hired Sheffield Wednesday coach Steve Bruce.
Heineken named sponsor: In other team news, Heineken on Monday was named the official beer of Inter Miami CF, a multi-year deal that will grant Heineken signage rights and retail activations, which they are planning in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Heineken sponsors 14 MLS teams.
Miami is one of Heineken’s strongest markets nationally, and both Inter Miami and Heineken aim to serve a global audience, so the partnership is “perfect”, said Jonnie Cahill, Chief Marketing Officer at Heineken.
“Inter Miami has really ambitious ownership and management who are looking at us to say, `How big can we make this and what can we do?’ and we know the people of Miami love Heineken and soccer,” Cahill said. “One of the first things we’ll do, you’ll start to see us build up a network of supporters bars where you know for sure the games will be televised, there will be other Inter Miami fans there and you’ll see glassware with the team logo, and promotions when they score goals. We are excited to get started before the team kicks the first ball.”