Madrid, July 9 (IANS) Spanish LaLiga club Real Betis on Thursday confirmed Manuel Pellegrini as their new coach.
The 66-year-old Chilean, known as the “Engineer” because of his methodical way of working, has agreed a deal until June 2023, as the club looks to find stability and compete for a place in Europe, reports Xinhua news agency.
Pellegrini replaces Joan Ferrer “Rubi”, who was sacked just under a fortnight ago following a 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao that left sporting director Alexis Trujillo in temporary charge of the first team.
Wednesday night saw the club mathematically assure their place in the top flight for next season, paving the way for them to announce Pellegrini.
“Betis has looked for a top-level coach who has great international prestige to improve the performance of the first team over a three-year-project,” read a statement on the Betis website.
Pellegrini has ample experience in Spain after spells at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, while he also coached Manchester City with whom he won the 2014 Premier League title.
He had a less successful spell at West Ham United and also spent two years in China with Hebei China Fortune.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday a LaLiga spokesperson, who was previously a semi-professional referee, backed the officials amid growing discontent over Real Madrid benefiting from VAR (video assistant referee) in the Spanish league.
Recently, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said ‘VAR hasn’t been fair and has always favoured one team’.
Responding to a question related to the matter, LaLiga India managing director Jose Antonio Cachaza, during a virtual media conference facilitated by Laliga on Wednesday, said: “Officially, (I’ve) no take on that, but VAR is a good advancement, indeed.
“I used to be a football referee — a semi-pro — so I just can’t even think of referees taking (erroneous) decisions knowingly or intentionally. Yes, there can be mistakes and VAR can also be improved. But there are no foul intentions by the VAR referee or the other match officials.”