Former Inter defender Nelson Rivas joins the Impact for MLS

Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the agreement will not be disclosed. Rivas will be eligible for MLS games in 2012 pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and work visa. He has not signed as a Designated Player with the club.

Rivas, 28, belonged to the prestigious Italian first division club Internazionale Milano, from 2007 to 2011. Rivas made his debut with Inter during a Champions League match versus Fenerbahçe, on September 19, 2007. During his time with Inter, he played against several top teams in the world including a Champions League match against Manchester United in 2009. His most recent game with Inter was played on January 12, 2011 in a Coppa Italia win versus Genoa.

He made a total of 28 appearances for Inter across all competitions. He helped the Italian club win the Serie A championship twice, in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. He also won the Italian Super Cup in 2008. With Inter, Rivas played under head coaches Roberto Mancini, José Mourinho and Leonardo.

Previously, the player from Pradera, in Colombia, played for legendary club CA River Plate in Argentina in 2007. Rivas was transferred to Internazionale in July of 2007 for €7.5 million (approximately CND$10.5 million). His contract with Inter was ended by mutual consent on August 31, 2011.

“We are excited to bring on board a player like Nelson," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “I think it sets the tone for what kind of players we want to bring in for 2012, and what type of organization we want to be. I am confident that his talent and great experience will make our club and team better."

"I'm motivated to join the Montreal Impact and have the chance to work with professional people," said Nelson Rivas, nicknamed The Giant by Inter fans. "I'm confident that we are going to be a strong club in MLS. This is a big challenge and new reality for me to join a league that is becoming more important worldwide.”

At the beginning of his career, he also won two Copa Mustang championships in Colombia, first with Desportes Tolima in 2003, then with Deportivo Cali in 2005. Rivas played more than 100 games with Deportivo Cali, one of the top clubs in the Colombian first division, from 2003 to 2006.

During the 2009-2010 season, he was loaned to AS Livorno, in Serie A, where he played 16 matches scoring two goals. He was then loaned to Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk for part of the 2011 season.

He also played one game with Colombian National Team.


Position: Defender

Height: 5’11

Weight: 184 lbs

Date of birth: March 25, 1983 in Pradera, Colombia

Previous club: Internazionale Milan (2007-2011)

Acquired: October 3, 2011