While Argentine football was preparing in March for the start of the Super League Cup, the coronavirus was present. The pandemic forced the tournaments to be suspended. And the clubs, in the middle of the quarantine, had to make important decisions. One of them was the hiring of new technicians.
Seven of the 24 teams in the Professional League chose their coaches in a very special moment, since in most cases the brand new coaching staff did not even have the chance to do a training session or chat face to face with their managers. .
MAURICIO PELLEGRINO (Vélez)
After the departure of Gabriel Heinze, who had an excellent campaign at El Fortín, the Liniers club looked for a replacement identified with the colors. The chosen one was Mauricio Pellegrino. The former soccer player of the institution, emerged from his inferiors, comes with a long journey as a coach: since 2012 he has directed Valencia, Alavés, Leganés, Southampton (abroad), and Estudiantes and Independiente in the country.
Pellegrino won nine titles in Vélez, among which the 1994 Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental stand out, under the guidance of Carlos Bianchi. In Europe, he played for Barcelona, Valencia, Liverpool and Alavés. In Vélez he took office in March, but did not manage.
MARIANO SOSO (San Lorenzo)
He arrived in San Lorenzo in March and at the beginning of the quarantine. It was presented by President Marcelo Tinelli on the playing field of the Cyclone, in a kind of quite atypical press conference given that the first stage of preventive isolation was about to start. After some training sessions, the suspension of football was decreed.
Soso arrived to replace Diego Monarriz, who started as interim but could not consolidate after a poor campaign.
Emelec from Ecuador, Gimnasia de La Plata, Sporting Cristal and Real Garsilaso, from Peru, and Defensa y Justicia, were the coach’s clubs, who never played soccer professionally. The 39-year-old coach’s career began as a trainer at Newell’s Lower.
JUAN MANUEL AZCONZABAL (Union)
After the departure of Leonardo Madelón, Unión went out to find a replacement. And the chosen one was Juan Manuel Azconzábal. The coach who made his debut on the bench as DT in Estudiantes de La Plata, was directing Chile’s Antofagasta, but was able to terminate his contract and give himself the pleasure of returning to the country.
El Vasco, abroad, also directed Guaraní from Paraguay, while in Argentina he did so, in addition to Pincha, in San Martín de San Juan, San Martín de Tucumán and Huracán. Azconzábal, as a good player emerged from Estudiantes, was trained as a footballer and as a coach with the librettos of Osvaldo Zubeldía and Carlos Salvador Bilardo.
JAVIER SANGUINETTI (Banfield)
The Archu had been Julio César Falcioni’s aide-de-camp. The Emperor, a glory of the Drill, was champion in the Apertura 2009 and directed 283 games for the club: he obtained 113 victories, 86 draws and 84 defeats. But the leadership decided not to renew him and offer him the position of manager. Thus, Sanguinetti was chosen to continue Falcioni’s cycle.
The former defender has a long career at the South club: he is the player with the most appearances at Banfield. Now, after directing in Paraguayan football, he will have the chance to stop being Falcioni’s assistant to take his own flight.
ALFREDO BERTI (Central Córdoba de SdE)
Central Córdoba lived a very special moment last season, when, recently promoted from the First National League, he reached the final of the Argentine Cup. The Sapito Coleoni team, however, had a poor campaign in the local tournament and were in the relegation zone when the suspension of football was decreed.
After Coleoni’s departure, Alfredo Berti assumed the position of coach in the middle of his quarantine. “We are in an atypical situation and we need as soon as possible to return to training on a field,” acknowledged Berti, who directed Newell’s, Aldosivi, Independiente Rivadavia, Argentinos and Belgrano.
DIEGO MARTINEZ (Godoy Cruz)
Without a doubt, Godoy Cruz is a club that gives opportunities to young coaches, with little experience in office. For this reason, it is not surprising that the leadership has offered the position to Diego Martínez, the technician who recently promoted with Estudiantes de Caseros from Metropolitan B to First National.
After leading in the First D, the First C, the B Metro and the First National, he got his chance in the Professional League. After the departure of Mario Sciacqua from Tomba, this young 41-year-old coach, a lover of Guardiola’s football and an absolute admirer of Messi, goes for the most important challenge of his career.
KILY GONZALEZ (Central)
One of the last coaches to sign his contract in the midst of the pandemic was Cristian González. Kily, a fan of Central and idol of the scoundrel, will give himself the pleasure of leading the club of which he is a fan, and where he played 149 games.
His long career as a footballer (Central, Boca, San Lorenzo, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Inter and the Argentine team) gives him a plus to what will be his task from the bench.