CIR­CLE OF IN­FLU­ENCE

World Soccer - - Jose Pekerman -

EN­RIQUE MERELAS

Per­suaded Ar­gen­tinian FA pres­i­dent Julio Gron­dona to hand the then largely un­known Pekerman his big break as coach of the na­tional un­der-20 side in 1994.

ED­UARDO URTASUN

An­other mem­ber of the staff who has fol­lowed Pekerman through­out his ca­reer. Re­spon­si­ble for fit­ness and main­tain­ing strict dis­ci­pline within the camp, he courted con­tro­versy by barg­ing Ra­heem Ster­ling off the pitch at half-time in the World Cup tie with Eng­land.

OS­VALDO ZUBELDIA

Leg­endary Ar­gen­tinian coach who con­vinced a de­spon­dent Pekerman to turn to coach­ing when his play­ing ca­reer was cut short at 28. “Os­valdo helped me in my tough­est mo­ment,” he re­calls. “He in­vited me for cof­fee and made me see it wasn’t the end of the world.”

HUGO TOCALLI

Pekerman’s right-hand man who helped rev­o­lu­tionise Ar­gen­tinian youth foot­ball in the mid-1990s. Un­der Pekerman and Tocalli, Ar­gentina won three Un­der-20 World Cups – in 1995, 1997 and 2001 – be­fore Pekerman was pro­moted to take charge of the se­nior side, and ex-goal­keeper Tocalli led the un­der-20s to an­other ti­tle at the 2007 World Cup in Canada.

CE­SAR LUIS MENOTTI

In the great di­chotomy be­tween Menotti and Car­los Bi­lardo that poi­soned Ar­gen­tinian foot­ball over the cor­rect way to play the game, Pekerman bor­rowed the best from both schools. While his metic­u­lous prepa­ra­tion meth­ods were clearly in­flu­enced by Bi­lardo, his play­ing style leans more to the ro­man­tic ide­al­ism of Menotti.

NESTOR LORENZO

Joined Pekerman’s staff upon hang­ing up his boots and was picked as as­sis­tant when his boss ac­cepted the Colom­bia job at the start of 2012. An ex-de­fender, he signed for English sec­ond-tier side Swin­don Town just three months af­ter play­ing in the 1990 World Cup Fi­nal for Ar­gentina.

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