Inter Miami announced today that Diego Alonso will be the Club’s first-ever head coach. The 44-year-old Uruguayan, who brings with him a wealth of experience both on the pitch and on the touchline, will take charge ahead of the team’s inaugural MLS campaign. His track record is one of significant success in all phases. Get acquainted:
Diego Alonso is the only manager to ever win the Concacaf Champions League with two different clubs, winning it in 2017 with C.F. Pachuca and 2019 with C.F. Monterrey. Only one other current MLS head coach (Matías Almeyda) have won the competition at all, under its current format.
As a manager, Alonso also led Pachuca to the 2016 Liga MX Clausura title.
The Uruguayan also piled up the silverware throughout his playing career, winning the Liga MX Apertura title once, Campeón de Campeones title once, Uruguayan Primera División once, A3 Champions Cup once, Spanish Segunda División once and Uruguayan Segunda División once. He also won the title of Spanish Segunda División top scorer once.
Alonso began his second career as a manager in 2011 and quickly distinguished himself as a top-class coach in the Americas.
In 2014, after stints as manager for Bella Vista, Club Guaraní and Club Olimpia, he took over as the head coach of C.F. Pachuca. Over the course of more than three years he oversaw 169 matches with the club, putting together a record of 74 wins, 46 draws and 53 losses.
He took the helm at C.F. Monterrey in May 2018 and managed the team over the course of 72 games. In that span the team compiled a record of 39 wins, 13 draws and 20 losses.
Alonso’s teams have been known to excite on the pitch. Throughout his 169 matches in charge of Pachuca the team scored an impressive 287 goals, good for an average of about 1.7 goals per game. The team also conceded just 213 goals in that time.
During the 2016 Liga MX Apertura the team scored 36 goals. This total was the second-most goals scored by a Pachuca team in a single Apertura or Clausura campaign and the most since 2009.
During the 2017 Copa MX Apertura campaign his Pachuca side scored 15 goals, the second-most since the 2013 Clausura, and conceded just two goals.
Perhaps even more impressive was the team’s goal-scoring record in the 2016/17 Concacaf Champions League. Pachuca scored 29 goals, the second-most in the tournament’s history, while conceding just 8 goals, the least in the tournament’s history.
At Monterrey, his team was equally potent in attack. In 72 games the team scored 118 goals, which is an average of 1.64 per game, while conceding just 80 total goals.
The 44-year-old will hope to continue his winning ways against Major League Soccer opposition as he enters the league with an existing run of success against MLS teams.
He has competed against the likes of FC Dallas, Atlanta United and Sporting Kansas City in Concacaf Champions League play in his managerial career. In the 2016/17 season his Pachuca side defeated FC Dallas 4-3 on aggregate to advance to the tournament finals.
With Monterrey, his road to the 2018/19 Concacaf Champions League final was marked by a 3-1 aggregate quarterfinal victory over Atlanta United and a resounding 10-2 aggregate semifinal victory over Sporting Kansas City.
Another hallmark of Alonso’s management style is his ability to develop top-level talent. One of his most notable success stories is his hand in the rise of Hirving “Chucky” Lozano.
When Alonso took over at Pachuca, Lozano was just 19 years old. Over the course of the next three years the forward became the team’s talisman, scoring 45 goals – the eighth most in the history of the club. The Mexican international star has gone on to represent PSV Eindhoven in the top division of Dutch football and S.S.C Napoli in Serie A, Italy’s top-flight.
Alonso has also helped establish the careers of other Mexican national team players such as Rodolfo Pizarro and Erick Gutiérrez and brought youth players through to the first team such as Eric Cantú and Carlos Rodríguez.
Alonso’s career in the sport has brought him to four different continents, allowing him to gain valuable experience at different levels. He began his professional playing career in South America, making stops in his native Uruguay with Bella Vista and Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in Argentina. He then traveled to Europe to play in Spain, beginning his journey with Valencia CF in Spain followed by Atlético de Madrid, Racing Santander and Málaga CF. The forward’s next move was to North America, where he will return with Inter Miami, to play for Pumas UNAM in Mexico. He also made a stop in Asia, playing for Shanghai Shenhua in China. Alonso returned to South America to finish playing career, once again representing Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in Argentina before lastly playing for Club Atlético Peñarol in Uruguay.
Alonso is also a familiar face for Inter Miami’s co-owner David Beckham from their playing days. During Alonso’s time with Málaga in 2003, the Uruguayan faced Beckham on Sept. 9, when Real Madrid beat Málaga 3-1. Beckham scored his first-ever free-kick goal with Los Galácticos in that game.