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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Gattuso and the return of Ernesto Valverde and Diego Martínez mark the benches of LaLiga 2022/23



Italian Gennaro Gattuso will be the main novelty on the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander bench, along with the outstanding return of coaches such as Ernesto Valverde and Diego Martínez, while Rubi, Míchel and Pacheta return after long-awaited promotion to the top flight Almería, Girona and Real Valladolid in the First Division.

The coaching position hasn’t changed excessively for this season and only three teams are set to make a new debut compared to last season, including a team from Valencia who are looking to change course. The person in charge will be the Italian Gattuso, non-negotiable in his style and facing the complexity of becoming the talisman of a “che” hobby that needs luck.

Valencia trusted José Bordalás last season to rebuild a crumbling project. However, the Valencian team sacked the Alicante side at the end of their first and only season at the Mestalla, where they finished ninth in the league and Copa del Rey runners-up, and snuffed out the title on penalties against Betis. Now, as a former Milan player, Peter Lim has evolved into a revolutionary and seemingly clumsy figure.

The former defensive midfielder, memorable in his position and winner of the “Champion” in 2003 and 2007, will have his first experience abroad as a coach after sitting on the benches of AC Milan and SSC Napoli, where he won his first title the Italian cup. He also tried his luck at Fiorentina the previous season, although a month later he went over the signing of the Viola team due to disagreements with the board – as already happened as Rossoneri.


Besides Gattuso, Ernesto Valverde’s return to the Athletic Club bench in his third phase stands out, having managed the Rojiblanco team between 2003-2005 and between 2013-2017, becoming the manager with the most games in his history (307). The presidential election determined the future of a Basque institution led by Jon Uriarte, the new top leader who has entrusted “Txingurri” to lead the team.

Thus, Valverde returns to active duty after his last experience at FC Barcelona where he won two leagues and was sacked in January 2020 while leading in his third season. He also won a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup with Barça, but lost out to Roma and Liverpool in the Champions League.

RCD Espanyol, entrusted to a Diego Martínez who has been absent for a year, seems less stable. The Vigoman rose to fame with Granada, gaining promotion to LaLiga in 2019 and later qualifying for the Europa League, where he was knocked out by Manchester United in the quarter-finals.


The promoted side, for their part, rely on the coaches who have fulfilled their dream of returning to LaLiga Santander. This is how Miguel Ángel Sánchez Muñoz, “Míchel”, managed to complete the Catalan team’s goal, as he did with Rayo Vallecano in the 2017/18 season and Huesca in the 2019/20 season, his last time in the First Division .

In fact, Pacheta replaced him on his return to the gold category, although his relegation prompted him to try his luck at Real Valladolid, who put him back at the top of Spanish football. Rubi will do the same with UD Almería after a dream season in LaLiga SmartBank where he managed to become champion.


The longest-serving coach will remain Diego Pablo Simeone, who will have his 12th consecutive season at the helm of Atlético de Madrid. For that reason, the Mattress team will look to relive the glory achieved in 2020/21, although they will face Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, who face his fourth year in two different phases as a madridista.

Along with them will be a dream Barça, led by Xavi Hernández, who is responsible for maintaining the Barcelona illusion in his first full season at the helm of the team. The renewal of the “culé” squad makes a team dream of a variety of game variations in all competitions.

The continuity line of the remaining projects shows the rewarding of some teams with their newest trainers arriving over the course of the last campaign. In this way, Sergio González won the confidence of Mallorca’s Cadiz and Javier Aguirre after the successful consistency of both teams. A case similar to that of Francisco in Elche and Quique Sánchez Flores in Getafe. All with the initial confidence of their teams for the start of LaLiga on August 12th.


Source europapress.es

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