Football: Marcelino to take Valencia hot seat

MADRID • Valencia yesterday named Marcelino Garcia Toral as the man charged with turning the Spanish LaLiga club's fortunes around next season.

The former Villarreal boss has signed a two-year deal at the Mestalla to become the sixth coach hired by Singaporean owner Peter Lim in the past two years.

"Valencia CF and Marcelino Garcia Toral have reached a full agreement for him to be first team head coach for a minimum period of two seasons," Valencia said in a statement. "'His official presentation will be made following the final LaLiga game and until then, the parties will not make any public statements."

Caretaker coach Voro will remain in charge for Valencia's final two games of the season against Espanyol and Villarreal.

Marcelino had been a candidate as far back as September when Pako Ayestaran was sacked just four games into the season. But LaLiga rules do not allow coaches to manage more than one club in the same season and Marcelino was deemed to have started the campaign at Villarreal, although he was sacked before their first game of the season.

He had enjoyed a largely successful time at Villarreal, helping them gain promotion to LaLiga before recording three consecutive top-six finishes. The Spaniard also took the club to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season.

Yet, the 51-year-old was surprisingly sacked just weeks before the start of the season due to differences with the club's board.

According to Spanish media, he turned down offers from Serie A clubs Inter Milan and AS Roma in favour of Valencia and will be assisted by Ruben Uria, his assistant coach at Villarreal.

Voro has steered the six-time LaLiga champions from the brink of the relegation zone to 13th in the standings since Cesare Prandelli resigned. The two other coaches that have worked with Lim are Nuno Espirito Santo and Gary Neville.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'Marcelino to take Valencia hot seat'. Print Edition | Subscribe