European Soccer

Real Madrid hires Pellegrini as head coach

Manuel Pellegrini (Getty Images)

Manuel Pellegrini has left Villarreal to become Real Madrid's new head coach, giving the La Liga runner-up a respected tactician in charge while leaving Villarreal's (and Jozy Altidore's) future in doubt.

Real Madrid parted ways with Juande Ramos after less than a full season at the helm and, after having been linked with Arsene Wenger, Madrid eventually signed Pellegrini, one of the most well-respected managers in Europe.

What next for Villarreal? The 'Yellow Submarine' finished fifth in La Liga this year, which will confine the club to the Europa League rather than the Champions League. Who will replace Pellegrini? Gregorio Manzano of Mallorca is one candidate.

What next for Altidore? That situation is even less clear. He won't be returning to Xerez, which gained promotion to the First Division, and now the coach who brought him to Villarreal has left.

What do you think of this news? Can you see Pellegrini turning Real Madrid back into a serious contender to Barcelona? Worried about Altidore's future? Who do you see taking over as Villarreal manager?

Share your thoughts below.

  • mb

    i think this is good news for Altidore.

    chance for a fresh start either with Villareal or traded somewhere else.


  • Alex

    Is it out of the question for Pellegrini to bring him to Real? I remember them being seriously interested in him a while back… and now that Pellegrini is there it seems like the move makes sense. He would get about as much playing time as he did this season, maybe more if he’s lucky and Pellegrini wakes up and sees what he missed while Altidore was at Villareal. And maybe that’s just wishful thinking. But seriously, how cool would having a Yank on Real Madrid be?


  • Ashraf

    I think he would have to perform admirably in the Confederations Cup to be considered for a move to a power like Real Madrid. He hasn’t played a club game this year basically. I wish he was a free agent so he could find the ideal opportunity for him and his career. A whole country is relying on him.


  • petr

    Does anyone know what the terms of Jozy’s contract are (how many years and such), and what they likelihood of him getting out of that contract are?


  • Supsam

    i dont think so mb. Everything was going well with Altidore and Pelligrini. Its a surprise that Altidore got playing time right away for Villareal. I think Altidore has a shot at cracking the starting line up not as a regular starter but an on and off starter. But with a new coach things can turn out very badly. See Dempsey in the beginning of the season, or Pearce. Coaching changes involves bringing in a bunch of guys the coach trusts and is familiar with. That does not bode well with players already on the team.


  • mb

    i don’t think so Supsam. Pellegrini sent him to Xerez b/c he judged him unready for La Liga and hoping to improve the player with gametime. But Jozy received none for whatever reason. So instead of training with a La Liga squad, he was training with a 2nd division squad. I see no reason Pellegrini would feel improvement had been made or that Jozy deserved more time on the field with Villareal.


  • Barry U

    Best case scenario. Hope he does well in the next 5 to 7 matches and Villareal is not throwing cash around since they are not in the CL. That scenario makes me think he goes into pre-season with a nice chance to compete and play. If they give the new manager $$ and he does not like Jozy as a player then he is in a bit of trouble. Then a loan to another La Liga team or maybe the EPL – Everton, Fulham, Villa who need #’s for FA Cup, Carling Cup, EPL, Europa league. Bottomline he needs to play somewhere.


  • RLW2020

    jozy would not get any time at madrid and is not quite at that level.. however they do have some aging strikers. find jozy a lower level home for one or two years where he can actually play and who knows in a 1-2 years… maybe he could be called in to a top club like madrid


  • matt

    come on now guys. he’ll be lucky to get a sniff at villareal…he won’t get a seconds thought at real madrid. regardless of our homerism if pellegrini didn’t think he was ready he probably wasn’t ready. as for whoever decided he wasn’t ready at xerez…they were probably right too. we can harp on it being anti-americanism but it might just be that he’s not good enough YET. i’d like to see him get time in spain whether it’s in the first or second division as long as it’s significant time. if not…well whatever.


  • JL

    I wouldnt be surprised if Rossi is sold, and Altidore is given a chance to play at Villareal. I think it is all dependent on who they hire. Regardless, he has to get in a position to play regularly, he can’t be like Adu and not play for consecutive seasons and expect to develop as a player.


  • Drew

    real needs better players if it’s going to compete w/barca not a diff coach


  • dallen

    Brilliant, brilliant hire by Madrid. The type of tactician that will be able to counter the principles of Barcelona in the long run.


  • HIncha Tim

    I’m a Barca fan, not a Real Madrid fan, but I think this is a good hire for RM. Everywhere that Pellegrini has coached, (San Lorenzo, River and V.) his teams have been successful and play great football. His River 2003 teams with Mascherano, Lucho Gonzalez, Andres D’Alessandro played absolutely scintillating soccer like Barca did this year, even if they came up a little shorter on success than Barca.


  • Ess Eff

    As a bald man, I say *that* is one incredible head of hair. He looks like a great conductor or writer.


  • toreadore

    Why are we even mentioning Jozy with Real Madrid, are you people insane, seriously. Jozy needs to go a club where he going to get plenty of minutes. Jozy if he does well will then turn into a Suazo for Honduras that is being loaned out to quality teams and is starting.

    I’m a Barcelona fan and while I hate Real Madrid, that club is in serious trouble, they need to revamp that entire team. They need either need to spend a ton and turn back into the Galacticos or get some blue collar works that are willing to lay it all on the line every time they step on the pitch, the team that just finished seemed more comfortable cashing a check then winning silverware.

    Jozy, come on people get serious. I just hope the new coach at Villareal gives him a shot.


  • Bellus Ludas

    I predict that Jozy will end up somewhere EPL or Bundesliga. He had his shot at Villareal and was found wanting. Confederations Cup is now even more important for him.


  • JB

    Juande Ramos fired twice in one season. That’s some elite company right there. Sven-Goran Eriksson would be proud.


  • Mark

    Villareal had some very good players in front of him this past year. If they offload one of those guys, or someone gets hurt, I think Jozy will have his chances to play. Hopefully he plays well this summer to make it difficult for his new coach to leave him on the bench.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    I’m with JL – Rossi is sold for some good $$, opening the door for the less expensive Altidore. Could be a good thing


  • Luke in NC

    Really all we can hope for is that Jozy keeps puttin’ the ball in the net when his chances to play come. He’s done it so far.


  • Jose A. V.

    Jozy Altidore should have gone on that loan to Everton instead of Xerez. He would have play more there, and could have even stayed there.


  • NewGuy

    Jozy will be fine. Real Madrid, no? But he’ll end up in a positive situation. (I hope)


  • cbr

    Just like you guys said..i bet Rossi gets sold to an Italian club. I can easily see him playing in lazio, roma, fiorentina etc…


  • RK

    There’s a lot of misinformation here.

    1) Pelligrini did not send Jozy to Xerez — management did it against their wishes
    2) GFranco is out, already — that’s the only aging forward definitely gone. As of now, Nihat, Llorente, Rossi, and Jozy are the only forwards.
    3) VillaRReal, with the two R’s 🙂

    There will be major shake-ups, due to the lack of funding (and the Villarreal area has been hit very hard due to the housing crisis, as much of the economy is based on Spanish tile manufacturing). Rossi could/should be sold. The keeper could be gone. The defense needs help. It will be tough for Cazorla to remain, too — Cazorla and Senna make VCF one of the best clubs in La Liga.

    It’s impossible to tell how this will effect Jozy — everything else I’ve mentioned is secondary to whatever the new coach wants.

    BTW, Ernesto Valverde, Olympiacos coach, being mentioned.


  • Pico

    To follow up on RK’s comments, team president Fernando Roig and director Jose Llaneza have the last word on Jozy’s future, and they both have continually voiced their belief about the long term prospects for the player.

    Pellegrini leaving makes a lot of sense because a) it is an incredible personal opportunity to coach one of the biggest football clubs in the world, and b) Villarreal could be headed for a rebuilding process given that a few players’ age started to show during the year. The coach might have seen that he could not get much more of the current team.

    As per the offense, there is a 50/50 chance that Rossi will stay, but the team might want to profit on the great year he had and sell him. There are also talks about selling Nihat because he is too prone to injury and they might get some value for him. However, it is unlikely Jozy will stay with the first team and be loaned out again.


    P.S. After watching the Chelsea vs Everton final I am glad Jozy didn’t go to that team. The style of play is just horrendous


  • madmax

    Jozy needs to leave Villarreal. Pellegrini lied to the media when he claimed he couldn’t loan out Jozy to Everton because he needed him for second half at Villarreal.


  • Roberto

    I think REAListically what is going to happen is that the team will do one big, impact signing (Kaka or CR7) and a few other quality additions and Pellegrini will bring M Senna .. As for RM never found a true replacement for Makelele when he left.. And that’s the type of defensive mid that RM is after. Another player that has a chance is Cazorla and why not G Rossi…?? I predict that at least one of these ex Villarral will be signed+ the big impact signing.


  • BCC

    Great hire for Real Madrid. But I have become tired of their constant need to hire and fire managers; Schuster and Capello were send packing after winning the league! Pellegrini will have to win the Champions League or he’ll be fired. Sounds like Perez has won the presidency, so get ready for a big spending spree (Kaka?).

    Altidore would likely get buried in the reserves or loaned out if he were to move to Real Madrid. With Raul, the emergence of Higuain, the return of Ruud, and the development of Huntelaar, RM has plenty of strikers.


  • BCC


    They have the two Diarras, a tandem that could be quite good if both are healthy. What they need are some quality CBs.

    Senna would be a great addition, though.


  • Jacob A.

    “As for RM never found a true replacement for Makelele when he left”

    I’m with BCC, Lass was probably the mvp of the second half of the season.


  • A.S.

    Pelligrini is a great coach – hopefully the RM people will see that and not fire him within one year.

    As for Jozy going to RM, the last thing I want is “did not dress” next to Jozy’s name on the Review posts all next year. That would be horrible.


  • drew

    I imagine he’ll playing gold cup as well so he should get plenty of exposure this summer.

    Maybe another spanish team would work for him. lol i hear newcastle needs some help in second division.


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