Our newest addition has arrived. Leandro González Pirez is ready to get to work as a defensive force on the pitch for Inter Miami as the Club continues in the pursuit of its main objective: winning.
González Pirez, 28, adds quality and experience to our backline ahead of our first match in the MLS is Back Tournament on July 8, when Inter Miami takes on Orlando City SC in the tournament’s opening match.
“Being part of this Club is something important, it’s a nice challenge in my career. I will contribute with my qualities and experience and I will try to give my best for the good of the team,“ said González Pírez upon joining the team.
“MLS is growing a lot and coming back to it really seduced me because I have great memories of my past experience playing here. I feel very comfortable and happy competing in MLS,” he added.
Head Coach Diego Alonso was delighted to add González Pirez to our roster, as he provides us with more defensive options to take on the remainder of the season.
“I’m very happy with this new addition. Leandro can contribute a lot. He is an experienced center back, so he can give us his experience in the league and, in general, in football,” stated the Uruguayan tactician. “He has a great capacity to play in various roles across the backline, either when defending or attacking. He’s a player with a great ability to play the ball out from the back. We’re very interested in center backs who can be the first actors to help the team play out from the back. He has these characteristics like his teammates, so that's going to help us grow a lot.”
Meanwhile, González Pirez is excited to hit the ground running under the tutelage of his new coach.
“I’m very excited to work under Diego Alonso’s management. I had a very pleasant and rich talk with him regarding soccer that seduced me a lot, so I’m very happy and excited,” said an enthused González Pirez.
The Buenos Aires, Argentina native gained valuable experience over five years in his country’s top flight, featuring for historic teams like Club Atlético River Plate and Club Estudiantes de La Plata, before making the move to MLS in 2017 to join Atlanta United.
In three seasons in Atlanta (2017, 2018 and 2019), he established himself as one of the best defenders in the league, helped the team win the 2018 MLS Cup, among other titles, was selected as a 2019 MLS All-Star and was nominated for the MLS Defender of the Year award twice.
The center back also scored the team’s first goal in their home ground on September 10, 2017, against FC Dallas. In that match,González Pirez’s new Inter Miami teammate Victor Ulloa came on as a 46th-minute sub for the Dallas-based side. Despite enjoying a successful career thus far and previously having a fruitful stint in MLS, González Pirez’s ambition remains intact, as he wants to add more titles and awards to his collection as an Inter Miami player.
“Personally, I hope to take advantage of this opportunity and play, and I also hope to participate in the All-Star game again, which would be very nice. But my priority is the group’s objective, which is to strive to win titles with Inter Miami and create history so that we can make the fans and the city very happy, which is ultimately what brought the Club here,” he expressed.
In his return to the league, the Argentinian center back is pleased to encounter a number of familiar faces. At Inter Miami, González Pirez will share the pitch with fellow countrymen Matías Pellegrini (who he has a close relationship with and chatted with prior to joining the Club), Julián Carranza and Nicolás Figal.
“When the opportunity to come to Inter Miami came up, I spoke to Mati [Pellegrini] and started asking him questions about the city and the Club, I was very excited to be a part of the team,” he said. “It is an enormous joy to be able to play with some compatriots, especially when they possess such quality.”
During his time with Atlanta United, González Pirez also coincided with Inter Miami COO & Sporting Director Paul McDonough, was teammates with current Inter Miami midfielder Mikey Ambrose and faced several other members of the team in MLS matchups, as well as head coach Diego Alonso and Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Concacaf Champions League during their time at C.F. Monterrey. On top of that, he netted his first goal as a professional during his time as a River Plate player in an Argentinian first division clash against Racing Club, beating current Inter Miami goalkeeper coach Sebastián Saja, who was at the time Racing’s shot stopper.
Now officially in South Florida as an Inter Miami player, the center back’s sole focus is working hard to bring joy to the loyal fanbase.
“I am going to defend these colors with the same passion and desire with which I have done in all the teams where I have played. I will give my all for this jersey and I hope I can bring the people a lot of joy,” concluded González Pirez with a message to the Club’s fans.