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Valencia opt for Valverde

Monday 3 December 2012 14.01 CET
Ernesto Valverde will lead Valencia into the UEFA Champions League knockout stages

Valencia CF have announced that coach Ernesto Valverde will take charge of the UEFA Champions League challengers until the end of the season following the dismissal of Mauricio Pellegrino.

Despite leading Valencia into the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a game to spare, Pellegrino – who had taken charge of the club last May – oversaw the team's worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1999/2000 and was let go after Saturday's 5-2 home reverse against Real Sociedad de Fútbol left the Liga side 12th in the domestic standings.

The 48-year-old Valverde arrives at the Mestalla having recently led Olympiacos FC to a league and cup double during what was his second successful spell in charge of the Greek club. A former RCD Espanyol, FC Barcelona, Athletic Club and RCD Mallorca forward, he began his coaching career with Athletic, whom he led into Europe in his first season at the helm, before taking Espanyol to the 2007 UEFA Cup showpiece where – just as he did as a player with Los Periquitos – he suffered the disappointment of a final defeat. The Caceres-born coach also had a seven-month spell at Villarreal CF concluding in January 2010.

Valencia visit LOSC Lille on Wednesday needing to pick up more points than FC Bayern München do against FC BATE Borisov to finish top of Group F.

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