Spanish La Liga club Real Betis Balompié have appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager today. The Green and White’s new boss, formerly of West Ham United and Manchester City, has signed a three-year deal through to 2023.
Manuel Pellegrini Appointed Real Betis Manager
Taking Over Next Season
According to ABC Sevilla news outlet, an agreement was concluded in a meeting which firstly took place in Alicante. Soon after, the two parties between the agent of Pellegrini and the Betis board of directors reached a definitive agreement in Benidorm. This took place on 28th June whilst the team played in nearby La Nucía when Betis lost 4-2 to Levante.
The club were waiting to announce his appointment until the team were mathematically safe from relegation, a fact which became a reality last night when Betis convincingly defeated Osasuna 3-0. This win assured their status in La Liga for next season.
It was one of the team’s best performances of the year. In addition, the motivation shown on the field was clearly influenced by the new manager watching from afar.
The History of Manuel Pellegrini
The 66-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the Seville based outfit. After a long spell coaching in South America with the likes of River Plate, he made his move to Europe. There, he commenced with a highly successful period with Villarreal. At El Madrigal, he would make European football a staple diet with each season being a part of the Europa League and the Champions League. Under his guidance, Villarreal reached the semi-finals of UEFA’s top competition in 2006. The Yellow Submarine would lose out to beaten finalists Arsenal.
His reward was a brief spell at Real Madrid at the start of the new Galactico era. In came the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema to much fanfare. The Whites would finish with 96 points and a record total in La Liga to that point, but they were beaten by Barcelona on 99 points.
‘The Engineer’, as he is known, returned to the dugout with Málaga. With their financial riches, he took them to the Champions League. They were minutes away from making the 2013 Champions League semi-finals. Yet, their opponents Borussia Dortmund scored twice in injury time to end their fairytale in dramatic style. It was joy for Jürgen Klopp but despair for Pellegrini.
Pellegrini would swap Málaga for Manchester City in 2013. He played a crucial role in City winning the Premier League title in his first season, thus, becoming the first manager from outside of Europe to achieve the feat. He would also taste further glory that year by winning the League Cup. This was a trick he would repeat in 2016.
Mixed Success for The Engineer
The Chilean then had a short stint in China with Hebei Fortune China. But two years later, he would find himself back in the Premier League with West Ham. It would be a mixed spell for the experienced coach where he would firstly record a top te finish. He then commenced the following season in the Champions League places, but four successive defeats and a baron run cut short his time in London.
Betis Beckons for Pellegrini
Now he returns to a league where he made his name and holds a challenge in fulfilling the potential of Betis. It is a club which historically has made things difficult for themselves and one which are desperate for stability. Betis have had a disappointing campaign this season and are currently in 13th place with 41 points. The club are far away from their original expectation of European football.
Stability the Key to Success
Betis have an impressive squad including the likes of World Cup winner Nabil Fekir, Marc Bartra and Sergio Canales. Yet, the main player remains the evergreen captain Joaquín, who previously worked under Pellegrini at Málaga. It is clear with a team rich in quality, they have underperformed. It will be the job of Pellegrini to engineer himself a winning team and bring in some much-needed stability and experience.
Back to the Future
As part of the agreement, Betis are negotiating terms for a new director of football. The club’s number one target is Antonio Cordón, who is currently director of football for the Ecuador national team. He is a familiar face to Pelligrini as he was the firector of football at Villarreal to Pellegrini during those successful seasons.
Betis have rolled the dice with this appointment of Pellegrini. Time will tell if it has been a successful roll.