Mauricio Andrés Pellegrino
(born October 5, 1971 in Leones, Córdoba
) is a former Argentine footballer
, who played as a central defender
, and who also spent time as a coach.
Pellegrino played for Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield
during a large portion of the 90's, as the Buenos Aires
-based lived its golden era, winning four league
titles and the 1994 Intercontinental
and Libertadores Cups
, he had his first abroad experience, joining Louis van Gaal
's FC Barcelona
; he made his Spanish first division
debut on September 12, in a 1–0 win against CF Extremadura
, and would be fairly used during the campaign, which ended with league conquest.
Pellegrino had his best years with another Spanish
side, Valencia CF
, partnering countryman Roberto Ayala
in the heart of the back-four, while helping the Che
to two league titles during his tenure, with the addition of the 2003–04 UEFA Cup
His main dark spot occurred during the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League final
, as he missed the decisive penalty shootout
attempt against FC Bayern Munich
(1–1 after 120 minutes) - he also played in the previous season
's decisive match
, which also ended in defeat, against Real Madrid
(0–3). Overall though, in his six years at Valencia, he was a very important first-team member, and amassed nearly 200 official appearances for the club.
In January 2005, after having been frozen out by......