José Manuel Esnal

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Personal information
Full name José Manuel Esnal Pardo
Date of birth (1950-03-25) 25 March 1950 (age 69)
Place of birth Balmaseda, Spain
Teams managed
Years Team
1979–1981 Balmaseda
1980–1981 Basque Country (youth)
1981–1982 Barakaldo
1982–1984 Sestao
1984–1985 Alavés
1985–1987 Figueres
1987–1988 Basque Country (youth)
1988–1995 Lleida
1995–1996 Mallorca
1996–1997 Levante
1997–2003 Alavés
2005–2006 Levante
2006–2007 Athletic Bilbao
2008–2009 Espanyol

José Manuel Esnal Pardo (born 25 March 1950), commonly known as Mané, is a Spanish football manager

His career was mostly associated to Lleida and Alavés, coaching the latter in five La Liga seasons and taking them to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final.

Football career[edit]

Early years / Lleida[edit]

Born in Balmaseda, Basque Country, Mané started coaching in his late 20s, his first job being with his hometown club. Save for two years with UE Figueres, he worked exclusively in his native region during this time.

In 1988, Mané returned to Catalonia and joined UE Lleida, taking them from Segunda División B to La Liga in only four years.[1] In 1993–94, the team's second-ever top flight experience, relegation befell after in spite of a 1–0 away win against FC Barcelona and a 2–1 success against Real Madrid at the Camp d´Esports, with only five other wins during the season.[2]

Lleida finished third in Segunda División in the following campaign, but lost in the subsequent promotion playoffs against Sporting de Gijón.[3]


After second division spells at RCD Mallorca (only 12 games) and Levante UD, Mané signed with Deportivo Alavés, returning to the club after coaching it in the 1984–85 season in the third division. In his first campaign in his second spell he led them to the league championship, adding a semi-final presence in the Copa del Rey after ousting Real Madrid in the round-of-16 and Deportivo de La Coruña in the quarter-finals.[4]

In 1999–2000, with a side that included Basque Julio Salinas, Mané led Alavés to its best classification ever in the top flight, sixth, with qualification to the UEFA Cup as a result – season highlights included winning both matches against Barcelona (2–1[5] and 1–0) plus a 2–1 home win against eventual champions Deportivo. In the European campaign, the team reached the final after disposing of, amongst others, Inter Milan and fellow Spaniards Rayo Vallecano, meeting Liverpool in the decisive match: despite being 0–2 and 1–3 down, they embarked on a spirited comeback and took the game to extra time, eventually losing after an own goal by Delfí Geli;[6] at the season's closure, he was voted Spanish Manager of the Year by magazine Don Balón.[7]

In 2001–02, Mané led Alavés to its second UEFA Cup qualification, with a seventh-place finish in the league. However, on 27 April 2003, he was sacked following a 0–3 away loss against Valencia CF, being replaced by Jesús Aranguren as the campaign ended in relegation after a five-year stay.

Late career[edit]

Mané helped another former team, Levante,[8] promote to the top level in 2006, after a one-year absence. In the following season, he returned to his native community after being appointed as Athletic Bilbao as a replacement for sacked Félix Sarriugarte,[9] with the Lions eventually ranking 17th, the lowest place outside the relegation zone.[10][11] However, despite the club remaining in the top division he was not invited to continue in the role – Joaquín Caparrós was brought in as coach following the election of a new president (Fernando García Macua).[11]

Mané's last job was in the 2008–09 campaign, as he was one of three coaches at RCD Espanyol who also eventually avoided top division relegation.[12]




  1. ^ "Se cumplen 20 años del último ascenso a Primera de la UE Lleida" [20 years from UE Lleida's last promotion to Primera]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 5 June 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Lleida y el recuerdo de la bronca de Benito Floro: "¿No os da vergüenza? ¡Que somos el Madrid!"" [Lleida and the memory of Benito Floro's scolding: "Have you no shame? We are Madrid!"]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 3 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Durán confirma el fichaje de López en el adiós de Mané" [Durán confirms signing of López in farewell of Mané] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 1 July 1995. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Spain Cups 1997/98". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Triunfo histórico del Alavés" [Historical Alavés win]. Marca (in Spanish). 18 September 1999. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  6. ^ Winter, Henry (3 September 2003). "UEFA Cup Final: Liverpool hit treble top". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Spain – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Mané, nuevo técnico del Levante tras la destitución de Oltra" [Mané, new manager of Levante after Oltra's sacking] (in Spanish). Cadena SER. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Athletico Bilbao appoint Esnal as new coach". ESPN Soccernet. 29 November 2006. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  10. ^ "El Athletic seguirá en Primera" [Athletic will continue in Primera]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 17 June 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b Sid Lowe (11 December 2018). "Athletic Bilbao would rather be relegated than compromise their values as battle at bottom looms". ESPN. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Pochettino replaces luckless Mané at Espanyol". UEFA. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2011.

External links[edit]