Mexican soccer player Rodolfo Pizarro is on top of the world

Miami’s Mexican playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro is on top of the world (Photo: Miami Herald)

Rodolfo Pizarro leaned back in a sofa on the balcony of his 49th floor luxury Miami apartment Friday afternoon and opened up about soccer and life as he admired panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, Museum Park and futuristic skyscrapers.

From his perch, he has a clear view of David Beckham’s two-story penthouse but says he and his Inter Miami boss have yet to run into each other in their downtown neighborhood.

Never in his wildest dreams as a scrawny kid growing up in Tampico, Mexico, did Pizarro imagine he would someday be playing for and living across the street from a global soccer icon. But that is where the 27-year-old finds himself.

Known for celebrating goals by mimicking The Joker’s exaggerated grin, Pizarro has plenty to smile about these days.

The dynamic long-haired midfielder is about to begin his second season with Inter Miami and has been told by new coach Phil Neville that he will primarily be a playmaker and should expect to have the ball at his feet more. He should aim for 100 touches a game. That is music to Pizarro’s ears.

Pizarro has also become a mainstay on the Mexican national team and is traveling with “El Tri” in Europe for a pair of friendlies over the next 10 days. He left on Saturday for Cardiff, Wales, where Mexico will play Wales on Mar. 27 and then heads to Austria to face Costa Rica on March 30. He returns to Miami on Mar. 31, in time to train a few weeks before Inter Miami’s home opener April 18 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

On Tuesday, Pizarro is announcing a shoe deal with Charly, a Mexican sportswear company looking to gain footing in the United States by signing the rising MLS star. He has a white pair and a pink pair to go with his Miami uniforms. Pizarro said he is extremely proud to represent a brand that is “100 percent Mexican.”

Although he embraces the blending of cultures in Miami, he remains deeply committed to his Mexican roots. His favorite local restaurant is Cantina La 20 in the Icon Brickell tower, the first U.S. import of the Mexico City-based chain.