After guiding Malaga to the quarter finals of the Champions League, Manuel Pellegrini has become popular with the local authorities of the Andalusian city.
Malaga mayor Francisco de la Torre announced to El Mercurio: “Malaga will have a street named Manuel Pellegrini.”
All that is waiting is an agreement from El Ingeniero and the city. The former Universidad de Chile player has captured attention around the world with an impressive campaign, despite various off-field problems, including the overhanging suspension from UEFA as well as serious financial concerns for the club.
Malaga fans sing for Manuel Pellegrini
Aside from the street name gesture, the Malaga mayor has also asked UEFA to drop the sanctions against the club. After a heavy loss to Claudio Bravo’s Real Sociedad, the Andalucians may not need to worry about the sanction.
The Chilean captain and his team have been on an impressive run, now moving four competition points ahead of Malaga, while Barcelona remain well ahead at the top of the table.
Pellegrini is definitely not alone as a Chilean in Spain, or even as a former La U man at Malaga. He counts upon the services of Manuel Iturra and Pedro Morales, both having come to the Costa del Sol after stints at the Centro Deportivo Azul.
Iturra’s performances have been well and truly enough for a call-up to La Roja, however Iturra left Universidad de Chile early in the reign of Jorge Sampaoli, and it seems the Argentine coach is not interested in making peace.
“This is really the pinnacle of my career, the biggest match I’ve ever played in, and I’m really enjoying myself, and hope to continue to do so,” the Chilean said in a press conference ahead of their scoreless draw with Borussia Dortmund.
With Malaga’s win over Porto, Pellegrini became the first coach to take two teams to the Champions League quarter finals in their first attempt, having earlier taking Villareal to the same stage.
There are no street names or statues there, and there is definitely no street named after Argentine playmaker Juan Román Riquelme.
With his impressive performances in charge of Malaga, including victory over Real Madrid after José Mourinho famous claim of: “If Madrid were to fire me, I wouldn’t go to Malaga. I’d go to a top-level team in Italy or England.”
Mourinho replaced Pellegrini in charge of Real Madrid, but in the Champions League both teams, along with Barcelona are still active in the quarter finals.
Pellegrini had to urgently return to Chile after the death of his father, so will be absent for the return league of the Champions League.