Pellegrino as Valencia manager in 2012
|Full name||Mauricio Andrés Pellegrino Luna|
|Date of birth||5 October 1971|
|Place of birth||Leones, Argentina|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1998–1999||→ Barcelona (loan)||23||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
After playing nearly one decade with Vélez Sarsfield, he spent the vast majority of his remaining career in Spain, amassing La Liga totals of 176 games and five goals over the course of eight seasons for three clubs, notably Valencia with which he won five major titles (he conquered nine in his spell in his country). He also had a six-month stint with Liverpool.
Born in Leones, Córdoba, Pellegrino played for Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield during a large portion of the 90's, as the Buenos Aires-based club lived its golden era, winning four leagues and the 1994 Intercontinental and Libertadores Cups.
He had his first abroad experience in 1998–99, joining Louis van Gaal's FC Barcelona on loan. He made his La Liga debut on 12 September 1998 in a 1–0 home win against CF Extremadura, and would be fairly used during the campaign, which ended with league conquest.
Pellegrino had his best years with another Spanish side, Valencia CF, partnering countryman Roberto Ayala in the heart of the back-four while helping them to two league titles during his tenure, with the addition of the 2003–04 edition of the UEFA Cup.
His main dark spot occurred during the 2000–01 final of the UEFA Champions League as he missed the last penalty shootout attempt against FC Bayern Munich (1–1 after 120 minutes)– he also played in the previous season's decisive match, which also ended in defeat, against Real Madrid (0–3). Overall though, in his six years at the Mestalla Stadium, he was a very important defensive unit, and amassed 213 official appearances for the Che.
Liverpool / Retirement
In early January 2005, after having been frozen out by Claudio Ranieri, Pellegrino joined former Valencia boss Rafael Benítez at Liverpool on a free transfer, signing a six-month contract– this move made him the first Argentine player in the history of the club. He played 12 times for the Reds in the Premier League – 13 overall – but his performances were not enough to secure a longer contract, and he was released by the club at the end of the season.
Pellegrino gained three caps for Argentina, all during 1997. He was picked for the squad at that year's Copa América and made his debut precisely in the continental tournament, against Ecuador in the group stage.
After retiring in June 2006, Pellegrino stayed connected with Valencia, coaching its Cadete-B (youth team). Two years later he decided to return to Liverpool, who still had Benítez in charge, as first-team coach, a position in which he remained until the summer of 2010 as the pair moved to Inter Milan.
In December 2010, as Benítez resigned from his post, Pellegrino was also dismissed. On 7 May 2012 he was appointed at former club Valencia, signing for two years as a replacement for Unai Emery who left at the end of the season.
On 1 December 2012, following a 2–5 home loss against Real Sociedad which left the side in 12th place, Pellegrino was relieved of his duties. He subsequently returned to his country, signing with Estudiantes de La Plata.
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- "Pellegrino: "A Mourinho lo tuve como ayudante de Van Gaal, es un buen tipo"" [Pellegrino: "I had Mourinho as Van Gaal's assistant, he is a good guy"] (in Spanish). El Gráfico. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
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- "Copa América 1997". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- "Pellegrino returns as Reds coach". BBC Sport. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Valencia appoint Pellegrino; ESPN Soccernet, 7 May 2012
- "Pellegrino sacked by Valencia". ESPN Soccernet. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Estudiantes sack Pellegrino after six matches without win". Daily Mail. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Pese a la resistencia de los hinchas, Mauricio Pellegrino es el nuevo DT de Independiente" [In spite of resistance from fans, Mauricio Pellegrino is new Independiente HC] (in Spanish). La Nación. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "Mauricio Pellegrino, nuevo entrenador del Deportivo Alavés" [Mauricio Pellegrino, new manager of Deportivo Alavés] (in Spanish). Deportivo Alavés. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2016.