Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Full nameManuel Luis Pellegrini Ripamonti
Date of birth16 September 1953 (age 59)
Place of birthSantiago, Chile
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing positionCentre back
Club information
Current clubManchester City (manager)
Senior career*
1973–1986Universidad Chile451(1)
National team
Teams managed
1987–1990Universidad de Chile
1993–1995Universidad Católica
1998–2001LDU Quito
2001–2002San Lorenzo
2002–2003River Plate
2009–2010Real Madrid
2013–Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Luis Pellegrini Ripamonti (born Santiago, 16 September 1953) is aChilean football manager and former footballer, who is the current manager of EnglishPremier League side Manchester City. As a coach, he has managed teams mostly in SpainArgentina and Chile. A qualified civil engineer and a competent footballer, after retiring as a player, he moved into coaching in his native Chile and subsequently Argentina.
Pellegrini moved to Europe in 2004 to take the manager's post at Villarreal, a small club near Valencia with little notable history. Under Pellegrini, Villarreal achieved a third place finish in the Spanish Liga in 200405, a Champions League semi-final in2005–06 and broke the big two in 2008 by securing a second place finish in La Ligain 2007–08.
Pellegrini's consistent record at Villarreal attracted the attention of Real Madrid and he was appointed manager there in 2009. He amassed a total of 96 points, a club record until it was surpassed by José Mourinho in the 201112 season, but lost the title to Barcelona by 3 points. He was dismissed after one season and later lamented the Galácticos policy employed at Real which prevented him from building a balanced team.
Pellegrini took up the manager's role at Málaga in November 2010. He led Málaga to a fourth place finish in his first full season and to qualification for the UEFA Champions League. He made it to the quarter-finals of the 2012–13 Champions League, becoming the only coach to take two different teams to the Champions League quarter-finals in their debut seasons in the competition. On 22 May 2013, Pellegrini confirmed he would leave Málaga at the end of the 2012–13 La Ligaseason. On 14 June 2013 he was appointed manager of Manchester City on a three year contract.[1]

Playing career[edit source | editbeta]

Born in SantiagoChile to Italian parents, Pellegrini attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago,[2] where he graduated in civil engineering in 1979. He started his formative years as a footballer in the youth divisions of Audax Italiano, then he went to the Club Universidad de Chile and he went on to play professionally for them as a defender. He spent his entire playing career with the club, making a total of 451 appearances and scoring seven goals in the Chilean Division 1, including one goal against Colo Colo, Universidad de Chile’s biggest rival.
In the 1970s, Club Universidad de Chile was going through one of the most unsuccessful periods in its history, not having won the national Copa Chile championship since 1969. That changed in 1979, when the club managed win the championship and secure a place in the South American club championship, the Copa Libertadores, in 1980, defeating its arch-rival Colo-Colo in both tournaments.
Pellegrini decided to retire as player in 1984 after a match against Cobreandino (today known as Trasandino de Los Andes). His retirement at 33 was relatively young for a central defender but Pellegrini wanted to help reconstruction projects in the Chilean central zone after the 1985 Algarrobo earthquake knowing that his experience as a qualified civil engineer would be ideal.[3][4]

Managerial career[edit source | editbeta]

Early years[edit source | editbeta]

As a coach, Pellegrini has primarily managed teams in SpainArgentina and Chile.[5] He started off coaching Universidad de Chileduring the 1988 season, but left the team at the middle of the season to take football coaching courses in Europe. The team's poor performance that year led to a relegation to the Division 2, though in 1989 they won the Division 2 championship, bringing them back to Division 1, where they have remained ever since.
In 1990, Arturo Salah was appointed as the manager of the Chilean national football team, and he hired Pellegrini as his assistant coach and manager of the under-20 team. In 1990, Pellegrini was appointed manager of Palestino, where he stayed until 1992. Then, in 1992, he took on managership of O'Higgins for a year, before moving in 1993 to become coach of Universidad Católica, one of the most popular clubs in Chile. There he managed well-known players such as Alberto Acosta and Nestor Gorosito and took the team to victory in the prestigious Copa Interamericana in 1994 and the Copa Chile 1995, though he could only finish as runner-up in 1994 and 1995 of the local Campeonato Nacional championship, a competition organized by the Chilean Football Federation in parallel to Division 1.
In 1998, Pellegrini had a brief spell back at Palestino before he was bought by Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito. He managed theEcuadorian club to a national title in 1999, starting a tradition of coaches that followed him to the Ecuadorian team. Pellegrini also gave the club a good run in the Copa Libertadores, catching the eye of other South American managers.

San Lorenzo[edit source | editbeta]

Pellegrini joined Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro in 2001, one of only two non-Argentineans to manage the Buenos Airesteam, and led them to their first international title in the Copa Mercosur. He was recommended to the club by San Lorenzo icon Nestor Gorosito, who had worked with Pellegrini at Universidad Católica. The recommendation paid dividends as Pellegrini led San Lorenzo to victory in the Argentine Clausura and the Copa Mercosur, South America's UEFA Cup equivalent.

River Plate[edit source | editbeta]

Pellegrini managed Argentine club River Plate from 2002 to 2003 and secured the Clausura championships in 2003, in which he utilised the talents of Andrés D'Alessandro, one of many Argentine playmakers to have been likened to Diego Maradona. His sale toVfl Wolfsburg, however, proved a tough hurdle for Pellegrini to overcome and his side struggled to defend their status as Argentine champions in the 2003 Torneo Apertura. He resigned his post at the end of the campaign.

Villarreal[edit source | editbeta]

Pellegrini took over the managerial duties of Villarreal CF on 1 July 2004. In his first season in charge of the club, Villarreal qualified for the Champions League after finishing third in the league and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. The following season, Villarreal reached the semi-finals of the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, losing to Arsenal. Villarreal eventually finished seventh in La Liga that year. The following two seasons featured Villarreal finishing in both fifth and second place in the league, the latter being historic for the club. Pellegrini led "The Yellow Submarines" to the Champions league knockout stages, where they drew Arsenal once again in the quarter-finals, losing out 4–1 on aggregate.
At the end of 2007, Villarreal offered him an extended contract until 2011. On 31 May 2009, after the last La Liga match for Villarreal, Pellegrini said: "Nobody from Real Madrid has spoken with me. I have a contract with Villarreal, we finished the league today, and tomorrow we go on holiday," after being questioned by the press on rumours that he was in talks with Madrid.[6] On 1 June 2009, a Villarreal executive announced that Pellegrini would no longer continue at the club. The Valencian club executive specified that if Real Madrid wanted to sign the Chilean coach, they would have to pay Pellegrini's €4 million termination clause.[7]

Real Madrid[edit source | editbeta]

On 2 June 2009, Pellegrini was appointed as manager of Real Madrid, signing a two–year contract. On being presented at the presidential balcony of the Santiago Bernabéu, he said, "Hard to say in a few words the excitement and pride that one feels for having been chosen to direct perhaps the most important club in the world."[8] He joined Real Madrid as the first manager in Florentino Pérez's second stint as Real Madrid president. After a few days, Pellegrini bought Kaká from Milan, saying, "If we want to win the Champions League and be the best team in the world, we need the best players in the world."[9] They later bought Cristiano Ronaldofor £80 million from Manchester UnitedKarim Benzema from Olympique Lyonnais for £30 million, and Xabi Alonso for £30 million fromLiverpool.
On 20 July 2009, Pellegrini managed his first match for the club against Irish side Shamrock Rovers in a friendly match. Real Madrid won the game by a low 1–0 score, with a solitary goal by Karim Benzema in the 87th minute. President Florentino Pérez criticized the team's style of play in this match and the physical exhaustion of the players. In July, Pellegrini competed in his first cup for the club as manager, the Peace Cup 2009. The club finished as semi-finalist in the tournament, being eliminated by Juventus in a 2–1 loss. On 29 August, Real Madrid won 3–2 at Deportivo La Coruña in Pellegrini's first La Liga game as manager.
On 27 October 2009, the club was eliminated from the Copa del Rey during the Round of 16 by the modest Segunda División B clubAlcorcón with a 4–1 aggregate loss. The Spanish daily Marca named this match "Alcorconazo" and went on to make many teasing references to Pellegrini. On 10 March 2010 he suffered a second hit, being eliminated from the Champions League by Lyon in the Round of 16 with a 2–1 aggregate loss. Florentino Pérez issued an ultimatum to Pellegrini after this defeat, warning him that he would be fired if he did not win La Liga.[10] Pellegrini's Real Madrid side achieved a record 96 points in La Liga, the highest points total that Real Madrid had ever achieved in a La Liga season up to that point (since surpassed by the 2011-12 team under Jose Mourinho), but still came in runner-up, finishing behind their arch rival Barcelona, who had 99 points. On 26 May 2010, Real Madrid's directors announced that Pellegrini was being sacked, to be replaced by José Mourinho, but that they would have kept him if the opportunity to hire Mourinho had not arisen.[11]
Pellegrini later reflected on his frustration at not being able to build a team at Real Madrid due to the club’s controversial Galácticospolicy: "I didn't have a voice or a vote at Madrid. They sign the best players, but not the best players needed in a certain position. It’s no good having an orchestra with the 10 best guitarists if I don’t have a pianist. Real Madrid have the best guitarists, but if I ask them to play the piano they won’t be able to do it so well. He [Pérez] sold players that I considered important. We didn't win the Champions League because we didn't have a squad properly structured to be able to win it."[12][13]

Málaga[edit source | editbeta]

After being released by Real Madrid, on 22 July 2010, Pellegrini received an offer from the Mexican national team, their coach Javier Aguirre having resigned following their 2010 World Cup loss in the Round of 16 in South Africa.[14] Pellegrini, however, eventually signed for La Liga side Málaga in a three-year deal, their coach Jesualdo Ferreira having been fired. On 5 November, he was officially presented as the new coach of Málaga during a press conference with the club's owner Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani.[15] On 14 November 2010, he made his Málaga debut as coach against Levante in a 1–0 home victory at La Rosaleda stadium.[16] Manuel Pellegrini continued his winning start as new coach of Malaga by beating Levante 1–0 in his league debut. That season Malaga only managed to finish 11th [17][18]
After his first full season with the team, he led them to 4th in the league with a record-breaking 58 points. With his guidance, Málaga entered the Champions League qualifiers for the first time in the club's history. On 10 August 2012, Pellegrini publicly stated his desire to stay at the club despite its ongoing financial problems and the loss of key players such as Santi Cazorla and José Salomón Rondón.[19]
Málaga progressed to latter stages of the Champions League, where they were drawn against A.C. MilanZenit Saint Petersburg andAnderlecht. The club progressed to the knockout stage unbeaten, winning three and drawing three in the group stage. Málaga then beat Porto 2–1 on aggregate in the round of 16. They were eliminated by Borussia Dortmund after conceding two stoppage time goals which cost them a semi-final place.[20]

On 22 May 2013, at Málaga's end-of-season award ceremony, Pellegrini announced he would leave the club at the end of the season with Málaga finishing 6th and excluded from Europe due to Financial Fair Play.[21][22]

Manchester City[edit source | editbeta]

On 30 May 2013, Pellegrini stated he had a verbal agreement to become the new manager of Premier League club Manchester City.[23] On 14 June 2013, Manchester City confirmed Pellegrini’s appointment as their new first team manager on a three year contract.[24] Pellegrini was quoted saying he was "delighted to accept this hugely exciting opportunity."[25] Upon joining Manchester City, Pellegrini became only the fifth coach from outside of Europe to manage in the Premier League, and the first Chilean.[26]


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