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Your 90s Italian football man-crush has beaten David Beckham to the Miami franchise

Paolo Maldini will be the joint owner of the club, with the side set to start life in the second tier of the North American Soccer League.

Paolo Maldini: will co-own the new club.
Paolo Maldini: will co-own the new club.

PAOLO MALDINI HAS beaten David Beckham to the launching of a professional football club in Miami after unveiling the newly-founded Miami FC.

The North American Soccer League (NASL) will expand in 2016 as a result, with the club co-owned by Maldini and co-owner and president Riccardo Silva.

On Wednesday it was announced Miami will begin playing in the second-tier NASL next year and also compete in the US Open Cup, while playing their home games at one of the city’s “existing world-class stadiums”.

“I’m proud and excited to be part of this venture,” former Italy defender Maldini said. ”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.”

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Silva added: “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.”

Former England international David Beckham has long been looking to launch an MLS franchise in Miami, but finding a location for a football-specific stadium has proved a stumbling block.

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