Miami Dade College and FIFA Enter Into Unprecedented CollaborationInternship program at FIFA's Miami offices and a first-ever soccer exhibition at Freedom Tower are announced

Madeline Pumariega, president of MDC with Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA
Madeline Pumariega, president of MDC with Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA

Madeline Pumariega, President of MDC, one of the largest and most diverse institutions in the country, and Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, the home of football around the globe, announced a new collaboration to offer MDC students internships and establish the first-ever FIFA exhibition in the U.S. The exhibition will be housed inside the College’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower.

“We are honored to serve as the site of the first FIFA exhibition in the U.S. as we approach the centennial of our historic Freedom Tower in 2025,” said President Pumariega. “The internship program for MDC students at FIFA’s new offices in Miami will provide students the opportunity to gain substantiative hands-on experience and forge connections that will last throughout their careers. They will also hear from FIFA and global fútbol professionals as part of a new guest speaker series.”

The Freedom Tower is currently undergoing a major renovation in advance of its centennial anniversary and re-opening in 2025. It will showcase important iconic items on loan from the FIFA Museum in Zurich, highlighting the history and growth of fútbol (or soccer as it’s called in the U.S.) across the Americas, as well as many important FIFA events that have taken place in Miami over the decades.

“Exhibits from the FIFA Museum will tell the story of fútbol and bring visitors to the Freedom Tower exhibition closer to the beautiful game. It will show the history of our sport, which is one of opportunity, and I am proud that students of Miami Dade College will also have the chance to work with FIFA as interns,” said President Infantino.

Miami’s love affair with fútbol has blossomed with global superstar Lionel Messi’s move to play in MLS for Inter Miami. Local residents hail from every corner of the world but especially from Latin America, where fútbol reigns king.

This announcement comes as Miami gears up for the 2026 World Cup, hosting seven matches including the Bronze Final Match. It also comes at an ideal time for MDC. Last year, Pumariega announced that MDC would bring back the men’s soccer team after a 30-year hiatus and would also create a women’s team for the first time. The College selected Giuseppe DePalo as head coach of the men’s team and MDC alumnus Ramiro Vengoechea as head coach of the women’s team. Teófilo Cubillas, a FIFA legend from Peru who played in the 1970s, said he was looking forward to seeing the new relationship flourish.

View the Flickr gallery of the announcement.