Inter Miami appoints former Barcelona and Arsenal executive as president of football operations

Inter Miami named Raul Sanllehi and Xavier Asensi as President of Football Operations and Business Operations respectively, the Major League Soccer team announced Monday.

“Developing a championship culture requires great talent and hard work both on the pitch and within the organization that supports our players. I want to welcome Raúl to our journey of building a Club our fans can be proud of and look forward to continuing to work with Xavi," Jorge Mas, managing owner of Inter Miami, said in the announcement.

Sanllehi will join Inter Miami after receiving his receipt of U.S. work authorization. He spent 11 years at FC Barcelona as Director of Football from 2008-2019. He worked closely with current coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino and Miami players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba while at the club. He then spent two years at Arsenal FC in the Premier League as Head of Football. Notably, he was the executive who completed the signing of Nicolas Pepe from LOSC Lille.

inter miami appoints former barcelona and arsenal executive as president of football operations

Inter Miami will be without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez during Copa America 2024. | Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Sanllehi's most recent role prior to joining Inter Miami was as CEO of Real Zaragoza in Spain (2022-2024). Mas also owns Zaragoza. "As President of Football Operations, Sanllehí will oversee all aspects of the sporting side of the Club and execute Ownership’s strategy of high-performance player development from the Academy to the First Team," Inter Miami's communications department said.

Sanllehi told The Athletic that ownership has conveyed to him that the goal is to turn Inter Miami into a global powerhouse.

Asensi is being promoted from within after joining the team from Barcelona in 2021. Asensi won MLS' Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year award in 2023.

Inter Miami currently tops the Eastern Conference with eyes on repeating in Leagues Cup this summer. Both Messi and Suarez are competing with their national teams in Copa America. Alba and Busquets will be looked upon even more for their leadership for as long as they're without the attacking duo.

READ THE LATEST INTER MIAMI & LIONEL MESSI NEWS, RUMOURS & GOSSIP

This article was originally published on www.90min.com as Inter Miami appoints former Barcelona and Arsenal executive as president of football operations.

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