Pepe Mel

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Pepe Mel
Pepe mel 2011 001.jpg
Mel in 2011
Personal information
Full name José Mel Pérez
Date of birth (1963-02-28) 28 February 1963 (age 52)
Place of birth Madrid, Spain
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Betis (coach)
Youth career
1974–1982 Real Madrid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Real Madrid C
1983–1987 Real Madrid B 71 (15)
1983–1984 Alcalá (loan)
1987 Osasuna 0 (0)
1987–1989 Castellón 62 (28)
1989–1993 Betis 112 (50)
1993–1995 Granada 65 (31)
1995–1996 Benidorm 31 (15)
1996–1997 Getafe 37 (17)
1997–1998 Écija 10 (2)
1998 Angers
Teams managed
1999–2000 Coslada
2000 Mérida
2000–2001 Murcia
2001–2002 Tenerife
2003 Getafe
2003–2004 Alavés
2004–2005 Poli Ejido
2006–2010 Rayo Vallecano
2010–2013 Betis
2014 West Bromwich Albion
2014– Betis
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Mel and the second or maternal family name is Pérez.

José "Pepe" Mel Pérez (born 28 February 1963) is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a striker, and the current manager of Real Betis.

He amassed Segunda División totals of 215 games and 78 goals over the course of eight seasons, in representation of Real Madrid Castilla, Castellón and Betis. He competed in La Liga with the last club.

In 1999 Mel took up coaching, going on to be in charge of several teams, mainly Rayo Vallecano and Betis, leading the latter to the second level championship in 2011.

Playing career[edit]

Castellón / Betis[edit]

Born in Madrid, Mel started his career with Real Madrid: joining the club's youth system in 1974 at the age of 11, and playing alongside the likes of Emilio Butragueño and Míchel, he never represented the main squad, only competing at senior level with the B-team.[1][2] In late 1987, after a very brief spell with CA Osasuna (he did not make his official debut), he moved to Segunda División with CD Castellón where he played two years, helping the Valencian Community club return to La Liga in his second season after an absence of seven years.[3][4]

Mel enjoyed his best years at Real Betis, signing with the Andalusia team in 1989 and helping it achieve promotion in his debut campaign whilst winning the Pichichi Trophy with 22 goals, one better than in the previous season at Castellón.[5][6] In the following year he played his first and only season in the top level, scoring 14 times but once again suffering immediate relegation; his debut in the competition was on 2 September 1990, and he found the net in a 2–2 home draw against Sporting de Gijón.[7]

Late career[edit]

Mel played his remaining years in the third division, in his country but also in France, successively representing Granada CF – two years – Benidorm CF and Getafe CF, splitting his final season between Angers SCO and Écija Balompié and retiring at the age of 35, with a Spanish second division tally of 195 games and 73 goals.

Managerial career[edit]

Early years / Rayo[edit]

Mel started coaching one year after retiring, his first club being amateurs CD Coslada in the Community of Madrid. In 2001, after one year at Real Murcia in division two, he replaced Valencia CF-bound Rafael Benítez at the helm of CD Tenerife, having his first spell in the top flight as a coach[8] and suffering relegation.

In the following four seasons Mel worked in the second level, being sacked early into 2005–06 by Polideportivo Ejido.[9] Shortly after he dropped down a level and moved to Rayo Vallecano, helping the Madrid club return to the second division in his second year[10] and subsequently leading it to the fifth place, with chances of promotion until the very last month of competition.


On 15 February 2010, after a string of poor results, Mel was sacked by Rayo, being replaced by director of football Felipe Miñambres who helped the club to the 11th place.[11] In the summer he signed with former side Betis also in the "silver category",[12] leading the Verdiblancos back to the top division in his first year.[13]

Mel coached Betis to the seventh position in the 2012–13 campaign, with the subsequent qualification to the UEFA Europa League. He was relieved of his duties on 2 December 2013, however, after falling to a 0–4 derby loss at Sevilla FC and conceding a last-minute 2–2 home equaliser to Rayo Vallecano.[14]

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

On 9 January 2014, Mel signed an 18-month contract with West Bromwich Albion of the Premier League.[15] His first match in charge came 12 days later, a 1–1 home draw against Everton.[16]

Mel obtained his first win in English football after seven games, with a 2–1 success at Swansea City on 15 March 2014.[17] On 12 May 2014, one day after the end of the season, he left by mutual consent.[18]

Return to Betis[edit]

Mel returned to former club Betis in December 2014, with a contract lasting until the end of the campaign.[19][20]





Rayo Vallecano


Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 11 May 2014.[21]
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Real Betis 1 July 2010 2 Dec 2013 154 66 32 56 42.86
West Bromwich Albion 9 January 2014 12 May 2014 17 3 6 8 17.65
Total 171 69 38 64 40.35

Outside football[edit]

Mel is also a novelist, having published two books, Liar and The Road to the Afterlife.[22]


  1. ^ "1–1: Balón de oxígeno para el Mallorca" [1–1: Oxygen balloon for Mallorca] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 13 October 1985. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "1–1: Balaídos dejó de ser inexpugnable" [1–1: Balaídos is no longer virgin territory] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 12 January 1987. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Renovó Mel y Vinyals se va al Oviedo" [Mel renewed and Vinyals goes to Oviedo] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 23 June 1989. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "El Castellón puso la "guinda"" [Castellón "iced the cake"] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 26 June 1989. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mel: "El Español se equivocó"" [Mel: "Español made a mistake"] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 12 May 1990. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Racing: Se consumó la tragedia" [Racing: Tragedy consummated] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 28 May 1990. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Betis y Sporting, de poder a poder" [Betis and Sporting, from strength to strength] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 3 September 1990. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  8. ^ El Tenerife despide a Mel y ficha a Javier Clemente (Tenerife fires Mel and signs Javier Clemente); El Mundo, 19 February 2002 (Spanish)
  9. ^ Pepe Mel, destituido como técnico del Poli Ejido (Pepe Mel, sacked as Poli Ejido's coach); El Mundo, 14 November 2005 (Spanish)
  10. ^ "El Rayo vuelve a la División de Plata del fútbol español" [Rayo returns to Silver Division of Spanish football] (in Spanish). Marca. 15 June 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Pepe Mel, destituido como entrenador del Rayo Vallecano (Pepe Mel, sacked as Rayo Vallecano coach); Globedia, 15 February 2010 (Spanish)
  12. ^ Pepe Mel, nuevo entrenador del Betis (Pepe Mel, new Betis coach); Sevilla Actualidad, 12 July 2010 (Spanish)
  13. ^ "Pepe Mel renueva con el Betis tres temporadas más" [Pepe Mel renews with Betis for three more seasons] (in Spanish). Marca. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  14. ^ El Betis destituye a Pepe Mel (Betis fires Pepe Mel); El País, 2 December 2013 (Spanish)
  15. ^ "West Brom appoint Pepe Mel as their new head coach". BBC Sport. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "West Brom 1–1 Everton". BBC Sport. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Swansea 1–2 West Brom: Mulumbu's late winner ends Mel's seven-game winless run". Daily Mail. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pepe Mel: West Bromwich Albion part company with manager". BBC Sport. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Mel, nuevo entrenador del Betis" [Mel, new Betis manager] (in Spanish). Marca. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Former West Brom coach Pepe Mel returns to Real Betis as manager for the second time, seeking to win promotion to La Liga". Daily Mail. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Pepe Mel". Soccerbase. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Parkes, Ian (19 January 2014). "Part-time novelist Mel hoping to write happy ending to his time at West Brom". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 

External links[edit]