Zanotta will oversee player personnel and scouting
FRISCO – FC Dallas has hired André Zanotta as its new Technical Director, the club announced today. Zanotta will work with Director of Soccer Operations Marco Ferruzzi in overseeing player personnel as well as leading the club’s scouting department.
Zanotta, 38, was previously executive director of Brazilian first-division team Grêmio where he was part of the club’s success in the 2017 Copa Libertadores, 2018 Recopa Sudamericana and 2018 Campeonato Gaúcho. The club also reached the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2017. Prior to his work at Grêmio, Zanotta was sporting director of Santos FC where he was instrumental in the sale of Brazilian superstar Neymar from Santos to FC Barcelona in 2013.
“We’re thrilled to welcome André to the club. His expertise in working with some of the biggest international transfers in the sport will serve us well,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “As MLS develops into a league that attracts players from around the world, we’re looking forward to André building our scouting network and positioning FC Dallas as a home for the game’s top talents.”
At Grêmio, Zanotta oversaw the planning and execution of many of the club’s technical operations including player acquisitions, hiring, as well as contract negotiations and renewals. Aside from the club’s day-to-day operations, Zanotta endeavored to create a positive atmosphere by aligning the players and management with the club’s executive and technical commission. He also served as the club’s official representative in meetings with the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL), soccer’s governing body for the continent.
“I’ve always had a passion for sports in America and the professionalism of the clubs here, such as Dallas,” Zanotta said. “So, when I had the offer from Dan and Clark [Hunt], I was very excited. I couldn’t think of not taking an opportunity like that, and I hope I can contribute with my experience to bring Dallas to an even higher level.”
Zanotta served as sporting director for Santos FC from 2012 to 2015 before transitioning into an executive director position at Sport Recife. A trained lawyer, Zanotta’s connection to the sports industry emerged when he began working on player training contracts for the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) and other Brazilian soccer clubs. To further his career in soccer, Zanotta enrolled in the prestigious FIFA Master program, receiving an MBA in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport in 2010.
In addition to his native Portuguese, Zanotta is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian. In 1997, he spent a semester in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area as an exchange student at Northwest High School in Justin. Zanotta and his wife Carolina have two children, Izabel (5) and Frederico (3).