Riccardo Silva, Paolo Maldini and NASL lead charge on pro soccer in Miami

The Miami FC will begin playing in the 2016 NASL season
May 20, 2015

International entrepreneur Riccardo Silva and world-renowned soccer superstar Paolo Maldini have teamed up to bring Miami professional soccer to the world stage with the launch of Miami Football Club (Miami FC), co-owned by Maldini and Silva.

Miami FC, which will be the city’s only professional soccer club, will begin play in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 2016. The club will also compete in the U.S. Open Cup and will host international tournaments and friendly matches in Miami. Miami FC will play its home games in one of the existing world-class stadiums of Miami.

The mission of Miami FC is to connect with Miami’s communities through the global language of soccer, and strengthen community ties even further by promoting social-driven initiatives and charitable work through soccer, in partnership with The Miami Foundation and the Play for Change Foundation.

Silva, president and founder of the MP & Silva group, a worldwide leader in distribution of sports media rights, will bring synergy, added value and exposure to his new franchise by distributing Miami FC matches worldwide through an estimated 50 TV channels covering more than 150 countries throughout the global market. In addition, the MP & Silva group will be a shareholder of the newly formed Miami FC.

Maldini, who is widely recognized as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, will use his unparalleled soccer expertise to select a world-class team and technical staff. He represented Italy in four FIFA World Cups and won five European club championships with AC Milan, where he spent his entire 25-year playing career.

The ownership group of Miami FC includes Silva, Maldini, MP & Silva and a group of international investors led by Antonio Barreto, a longtime sports and media entrepreneur and Miami resident who will be CEO of Miami FC.

“I’m proud to support a venture that is not only bringing world-class professional soccer to Miami but also a project with an active charity program for the local community,” said Silva, President and Co-owner of Miami FC. “As Miami moves forward in the world of business and arts, we feel that it’s a good time to also take a step further in the world of sports and soccer, and we will do that with dedication and passion, bringing our business and soccer expertise. Soccer is the fastest growing professional sport in the USA, and Miami is a dynamic and multi-cultural city that is passionate for sports and has been longing for a marquee soccer franchise. Soccer and international culture are a perfect combination - especially for the youth and future generations to come - and it is highly valuable having Paolo Maldini, who will bring his soccer knowledge and shares our vision and our passion.”

Maldini, Co-owner of Miami FC: “I’m proud and excited to be part of this venture. I strongly believe in the growth of soccer in the USA, and this is the perfect project to develop a top-class soccer team in one of the most important cities in the world. We are glad not only to bring a professional soccer team to Miami, but also to support all of its communities through our social responsibility commitment. We believe that the fast-growing NASL will be the perfect platform to develop a successful team and a valuable business. Miami has been my second home for 15 years, so I look forward to spending more and more time here as Co-owner of Miami FC, giving my enthusiastic contribution for its success.”

For more information on the Miami FC, please email info@miamifc.com.

About Riccardo Silva
Riccardo Silva is President and major shareholder of MP & Silva, the global leader in television rights, distribution with an annual turnover of more than $700 million and 20 offices around the world. TV rights distributed include FIFA World Cup, English Premier League, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, NFL, Roland Garros and many others.

The Silva family owns a major chemical group in Italy, Gruppo Desa Italsilva, founded by his grandfather and leader in the production of detergent and soap with brands such as Spuma di Sciampagna, Chanteclair, and Sauber. Riccardo Silva is also one of Miami's most successful entrepreneurs and active community members, owning vaious companies in real estate, restaurant, modelling and music industries. He is also a donor and a supporter of the New World Center of Miami and of the Bass Museum of Art.

About Paolo Maldini
Paolo Maldini is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He played at a world-class level for his entire career spanning two and a half decades and spent all 25 seasons of his career at AC Milan, before retiring at the age of 41. He made his debut for the Italian national team in 1988 and captained the national team for 8 years. He won five UEFA Champions Leagues, a world record in the last 50 years, played four World Cups, and was three-time World Champion with AC Milan. Maldani is not only a symbol and a legend of the club, but also of the national team and is the embodiment of the leadership and dedication needed to succeed in soccer.

About NASL
The North American Soccer League is a professional soccer league established in the United States and Canada. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmtonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville, Armada FC, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, San Antonio Scorpions FC, and Tampa Bay Rowdies. For more information about the NASL, visit NASL.com. Follow the NASL on Twitter and Instagram at @NASLOfficial and Facebook at Facebook.com/NASLFanPage