It’s official, Valencia announced that their new coach is Juan Antonio Pizzi, following the departure of Miroslav Djukic last week. Pizzi, who has signed for the remainder of this season plus two more, has left Argentinean club San Lorenzo de Almagro, with whom he had just won the Torneo Inicial.
The club are yet to specifiy when the coach will arrive in Valencia, though sources in Argentina said that he would be leaving on a jet plane on Thursday night and would therefore arrive in Spain on Friday. Pizzi will be accompanied by fitness coach Alejandro Richino and assistant Manuel Suárez.
The statement from the club read as follows:
"Valencia CF have closed a deal with Juan Antonio Pizzi to make the Argentine the new manager of the club. Pizzi comes to Mestalla fresh from winning the Torneo Clausura in his homeland with San Lorenzo de Almagro (he has also won a league title in Chile with Universidad Católica in 2010). He will be joined at Valencia CF by fitness coach Alejandro Richino and assistant Manuel Suárez.
Details of his arrival and presentation as new Valencia CF manager will be announced shortly."
Pizzi, who is 45 and hails from Santa Fe, Argentina, started as a centre forward with Rosario Central and in 1990 was signed by Mexican side Toluca. A year later he moved to Tenerife before moving again in 93, this time for Valencia, where he played 19 games and scored four goals, before returning to Tenerife. In 1995/96 he was Pichichi (top scorer in the League) with 31 goals, which led to a move to Barcelona, where he played for two seasons.
In 1994 he was called up by Spain and played 22 games for La Roja, scoring eight goals.
He has coached Colón de Santa Fe, Universidad San Martín (Perú), Santiago Morning and Universidad Católica (Chile), Rosario Central y San Lorenzo.