SPORT

Manuel Pellegrini To Succeed Roberto Mancini At Manchester City?

14/05/2013 08:30 BST | Updated 14/05/2013 08:31 BST

Manuel Pellegrini was the outstanding favourite for the Manchester City job before Roberto Mancini was sacked, and the Chilean now seems destined to move to the Premier League after Mancini was jettisoned on Monday night.

Pellegrini, who first came to prominence with British supporters during Villarreal's success midway through the last decade, came within seconds of guiding present club Málaga to the Champions League semi-final last month, only to be denied by Borussia Dortmund's storming comeback.

Here are 10 facts about the Chilean coach...

1 Spent his entire professional playing career with local club Universidad de Chile, making over 450 appearances before becoming their coach.

2 Pellegrini is a qualified civil engineer, earning him the nickname 'El Ingeniero' (the engineer).

3 Went to university at the age of 17, at the same time as starting his football career.

4 Did not even consider becoming a coach until the age of 30 but, after hanging up his boots at 33, took training courses in Italy and England before taking charge of Universidad's youth squad.

5 He played for Chile as a defender.

manuel pellegrini

Pellegrini was Cristiano Ronaldo's first coach at Real Madrid

6 Has coached some of the biggest clubs in their respective countries - Real Madrid (Spain), River Plate (Argentina), LDU Quito (Ecuador) and Universidad (Chile).

7 At his first European club, led little-known Villarreal to the most successful period in their history. In five years at El Madrigal, Pellegrini helped Villarreal twice finish in the top three of La Liga, win the Intertoto Cup, while leading them the Champions League for the first time where they reached the semi-finals in 2006 before losing to Arsenal. Villarreal also reached UEFA Cup quarter-finals under Pellegrini.

8 Lasted only one season at Real Madrid despite his winning 31 of 38 league games and accumulating a then club-record 96 points to finish runners-up to Barcelona. He was replaced by a certain Jose Mourinho.

9 Led Málaga to their first top-four finish in the Primera Division and subsequently into the Champions League for first time in their history, where they reached the quarter-finals this season.

10 Has ambitions to one day coach the Chile national team.