José Pekerman


José Pekerman

Football player infobox
playername = José Pekerman


fullname = José Néstor Pekerman
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1949|9|3
cityofbirth = Villa Domínguez
countryofbirth = Argentina
height = height|m=1.78
weight = 65kg
clubnumber =
currentclub =
position = Midfielder Right
youthyears = ?
youthclubs = Argentinos Juniors
years = 1970-1974
1974-77
clubs = Argentinos Juniors
Independiente Medellín
caps(goals) = 134 (12)
101 (15)
nationalyears =
nationalteam =
nationalcaps(goals) =
manageryears = 1981-1982 1982-1992 1992-1994 1994-2001 2003 2004-2006 2007-2008
managerclubs = Chacarita Juniors (youth) Argentinos Juniors (youth) Colo-Colo (youth) Argentina under-20 Club Deportivo Leganés (Director of Football) Argentina Club Toluca
pcupdate =
ntupdate = 25 November 2006

José Néstor Pekerman (born September 3, 1949 in Villa Domínguez, Entre Ríos) is an Argentine football coach, currently with Club Toluca of Mexico. He is arguably the all-time most successful football coach of young teams, having won the FIFA World Youth Championship three times (1995, 1997 and 2001), and the South American Youth Championship (U20) twice (1997 and 1999). He coached the Argentina national football team in the 2006 World Cup.

Career as a player

Pekerman's career as a footballer was uneventful. A midfielder, he played from 1970 to 1974 for Argentinos Juniors scoring 12 goals in 134 matches. He was transferred to Independiente Medellín, in Colombia, where he scored 15 goals in 101 matches.

His career as a player ended at age 28 with a serious knee injury. Pekerman was then forced to support himself and his family with various odd jobs, including a stint as a taxi driver.

Coaching career

Back in Argentina, he worked as a youth coach for Chacarita Juniors and then occupied the same position with Argentinos Juniors. He then moved to Chile to coach Colo-Colo's youth divisions.

In 1994, he was offered to coach the Argentinian national under-20 and under-17 sides by the Argentine Football Association. This caused some surprise as his résumé did not include any major achievements at this stage. He teamed up with Hugo Tocalli and coach Eduardo Urtasun.

Pekerman's success, however, silenced the critics: his under-20 team won the FIFA World Youth Championship three times, 1995 (Qatar), 1997 (Malaysia), and 2001 (Argentina), thus giving the names to his three pet dogs - Qatar, Malaysia and Argentina. The team also won the two South American Youth Championships in 1997 and 1999.

When the national coach Daniel Passarella resigned after the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Pekerman was offered his position. He declined, assuming instead the position of "General Manager" of all national teams. Marcelo Bielsa was hired as coach on Pekerman's recommendation, and remained in charge until after Argentina's gold medal performance in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

In 2003 Pekerman moved to Spain at the behest of Argentine businessman Daniel Grinbank, who had acquired Spanish Second Division side Club Deportivo Leganés. After a few months as Director of Football, the project crumbled, and Pekerman left Spain.

When Bielsa resigned as coach, Pekerman was one of the two candidates for the coaching job, alongside Carlos Bianchi, who had left Boca Juniors a few months earlier, and wanted to take a sabbatical year away from football.

World Cup 2006

On September 15 2004, Pekerman was named coach of the Argentina national football team, which qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. They dominated its initial Group Stage matches and drew with the Netherlands, emerging on top of their group on goals difference. The "albicelestes" moved on to the knockout round, beating Mexico 2-1 in a comeback victory.

In the quarterfinals however, Argentina was eliminated by Germany in a penalty kick shoot-out 4-2, after regulation and extra time ended in a 1-1 draw. Controversy surrounded Pekerman's decision to bench playmaker Juan Román Riquelme after gaining a 1-0 lead at the second half, and following it by unexpectedly substituting Hernán Crespo with Julio Cruz instead of fielding in strikers Javier Saviola or Lionel Messi.

After the loss, Pekerman announced his resignation as Argentine national football coach. AFA boss Julio Grondona tried to dissuade Pekerman from leaving. It was later announced that Alfio Basile, who coached Argentina during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, would replace him as coach. Pekerman has signed a contract to be the new head coach of the mexican team Toluca.

Club Toluca

On May 30, 2007, Pekerman was named the head coach of Club Toluca of Mexico replacing fellow Argentine Americo Gallego.He has now left the club and been replaced by Jose Manuel de la Torre.

Legacy

Before the World Cup began, Pekerman made controversial decisions of dropping veteran defenders Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel. When Argentina was eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinal, his substitution decision caused storms of criticism, as well. Despite the dramatic loss, Pekerman was still hailed by many fans and press as a very effective coach and the "Pekerman Era" is regarded as one that brought a lot of pride to the country. His team lost its temper after the elimination and started a huge brawl, which was believed to be one of the major factors that caused his resignation.

Below is a summary of Pekerman's coaching career through the years:

* Chacarita Juniors (Argentina) - Youth team coach (1982)
* Argentinos Juniors (Argentina) - Youth team coach (1982-1992)
* Colo-Colo (Chile) - Youth team coach (1992-1994)
* Argentina - National youth team coach (1994-2001)
* Leganés (Spain) - Director of Football (2003)
* Argentina national football team (2004-2006)
* Club Toluca of Mexico (2007-2008)

Personal life

Pekerman's grandparents immigrated from the Ukraine and settled in the Jewish colonies of Entre Rios province [http://www.delacole.com/cgi-bin/medios/vernota.cgi?medio=comunidades&numero=396&nota=396-18] .

References

External links

* [http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com/06/en/c/team/coach/arg.html Biography] by FIFA
*es icon [http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Reef/8785/documentoshtm/josepekerman.htm About Pekerman]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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