In what is quickly becoming the norm for the Friedkin Group, Roma's new owners decided to eschew pomp and circumstance, dodge the rumor mill and convention in general in their quest to fill their empty Director of Sport position. In fact, they didn't even fill the position, they created a new one: General Manager, Football. And that new and likely expanded post will be filled by a man not previously connected to the club in any capacity.
Moments ago, the club officially unveiled Tiago Pinto as their new General Manager, Football. Pinto, a 36-year-old from Portugal, has been Benfica’s Director of Sport since 2017, prior to which he spent five years (2012-2017) running Benfica's multisport division.
Per the official release:
In his current role as Director of Professional Football, Pinto has worked closely with Sporting Director, Portuguese and Serie A legend Manuel Rui Costa, and has been responsible for restructuring all departments within professional football at the club.
Since 2017, Benfica have won the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira as well as regularly qualifying for the Champions League.
During this period Benfica have recruited players from within the Primeira Liga, a league forming some of the best young players in Europe, Spain’s La Liga, the Brazilian Serie A and the Argentine Primera Division, leagues which have provided some of the foremost names to have played in Serie A.
During Pinto’s time in the role, Benfica have continued their rich tradition of the development of academy players, many of whom are now playing for Europe’s largest clubs.
On his new General Manager, Football (that comma makes it so awkward, so we'll probably refer to him simply as the GM), Dan Friedkin hailed Pinto as a world-class talent:
Tiago is a world class talent. In our many conversations, it was clear that his passion for his job, forward-thinking mindset, and, above all, winning mentality were consistent with the new ethos at Roma.
We are convinced that his remarkable energy, uncompromising ethics, and track record of identifying, developing and optimising talent will help in our ambitions as we begin to prepare Roma to compete for trophies at the highest levels of Italian and European football.
And now from the man of the hour, Pinto:
I am delighted and humbled to be joining Roma at such an exciting time in the club’s development. Leaving Benfica was a very tough decision, given what we have achieved together over the past eight years, but the chance to join a resurgent Roma and to contribute to that momentum under this dynamic new ownership was a professional opportunity that I could not turn down.
I am eternally grateful to Benfica for their trust and support and also to Dan and Ryan Friedkin for giving me this opportunity at Roma to continue developing in the sport I love.
Time will tell if that slightly different job title guarantees Pinto a broader range of responsibilities and powers, but Pinto has a pretty decent track record when it comes to spinning off players for massive price tags:
- Ederson to City for €40M
- Nelsen Semedo to Barcelona for €35.7M
- Victor Lindelof to Manchester United for €35M
- Ruben Diaz to City for €68M
- Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid for €127.2M
Pinto will officially assume his new post on January 1, 2021, meaning he'll be thrown right into the winter transfer window fire.