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 67)
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 it to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final.

Football career[edit]

Early years / Lleida[edit]

Born in Balmaseda, Basque Country, Mané started coaching in his late 20's, his first job being with his hometown club. Safe 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. In 1993–94, the team's second ever top flight experience, in spite of a 1–0 away win against FC Barcelona and a 2–1 success against Real Madrid at the Camp d´Esports, relegation befell after only five more wins in the season.

Lleida finished third in Segunda División in the following campaign, but lost in the subsequent promotion playoffs against Sporting de Gijón.[1]


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.[2]

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 the subsequent qualification to the UEFA Cup – season highlights included winning both matches against Barcelona (2–1,[3] 1–0) and 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;[4] at the season's closure, he was voted Spanish Manager of the Year by magazine Don Balón.[5]

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 five a year-stay.

Late career[edit]

Mané helped another former team, Levante,[6] 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,[7] with the Lions eventually ranking 17th, being the first team above the relegation zone.[8]

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.[9]




  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ "Spain Cups 1997/98". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Triunfo histórico del Alavés" [Historical Alavés win]. Marca (in Spanish). 18 September 1999. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Winter, Henry (3 September 2003). "UEFA Cup Final: Liverpool hit treble top". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Spain – Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Athletico Bilbao appoint Esnal as new coach". ESPN Soccernet. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "El Athletic seguirá en Primera" [Athletic will continue in Primera]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 17 June 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Pochettino replaces luckless Mané at Espanyol". 20 January 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 

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