Roma have appointed their new general manager, reaching an agreement with 36-year-old current Benfica chief Tiago Pinto.
“AS Roma is delighted to announce that it has reached an agreement to welcome Tiago Pinto as the club’s new General Manager, Football,” read a statement.
“Pinto, one of European football’s most accomplished operators, is the current Director of Professional Football at SL Benfica, a post he has held since 2017, before which he managed the club’s multisports division between 2012 and 2017.”
The 36-year-old has been chosen to take over the currently empty role at the Stadio Olimpico of director of sport, although it seems he will be having a broader portfolio than that.
It means both the director and coach Paulo Fonseca will be Portuguese.
This is the first major appointment of the Friedkin era and comes after months of rumours, reports and meetings.
They wanted someone prepared to take over immediately and who would move to Rome for a full immersion experience, but he will only begin at the club from January 1 2021.
Full name Andre Tiago Ferreira Pinto, he has been in charge of Benfica since 2017.
Before that, he had worked with hockey, volleyball, futsal and basketball teams under the Benfica umbrella.
“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,” said Dan Friedkin on the club website.
“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.”
Roma had been linked with numerous names over the past few weeks, but Tiago Pinto had not been one of them, so his sudden appointment had been completely off the radar.
“I am delighted and humbled to be joining Roma at such an exciting time in the club's development,” the 35-year-old said on the official Roma website.
“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.”