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June 18, 2024

Inter Miami Hires Raul Sanllehi ’92 as President of Football Operations

Raul played soccer at Guilford and was honored with an Alumni Excellence Award in 2016. 

Former Guilford soccer player Raul Sanllehi ’92 has been named president of football operations for Inter Miami of Major League Soccer (MLS).

Raul comes to Inter Miami with experience in LaLiga and the Premier League as the former director of football at Barcelona and, later, Arsenal. "I have a very clear model in which I believe that clubs should be based and grow from there,” he told ESPN. “The ownership wants to turn (Inter Miami) into a global football powerhouse, and that's something that I embrace completely."

Raul was director of football at Barcelona from 2008-19 and played an important role developing soccer wonder Lionel Messi, who now plays for Inter Miami. He served as head of football at Arsenal from 2018-20, and most recently as CEO of Spanish club Real Zaragoza from 2022 until earlier this spring.

MLS is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport's highest level in the U.S. Raul knows Inter Miami is a young club but he says there are signs that the organization “is thinking big.”

He likes the club’s motto: Freedom to Dream. “That says a lot about the philosophy of this club and totally matches with my way of approaching life," Raul says.

Raul is a native of Spain but spent time in the United States as a high school exchange student. When it came time to attend college, he returned to the U.S. to study at Guilford, where he played on the Quakers’ soccer team and earned a degree in Business Management.

The College presented Raul and six other alumni with Alumni Excellence Awards in a ceremony on campus in the fall of 2016.