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José Pekerman
José Pekerman Deportivo Toluca 2007.jpg
Personal information
Full name José Néstor Pekerman
Date of birth September 3, 1949 (1949-09-03) (age 60)
Place of birth    Villa Domínguez, Argentina
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder Right
Youth career
 ? Argentinos Juniors
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Argentinos Juniors
Independiente Medellín
134 (12)
101 (15)   
Teams managed
Chacarita Juniors (youth)
Argentinos Juniors (youth)
Colo-Colo (youth)
Argentina under-20
Club Deportivo Leganés (Director of Football)
Club Toluca
UANL Tigres

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 25 November 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)

José Néstor Pekerman (born September 3, 1949 in Villa Domínguez, Entre Ríos) is an Argentine football coach. He is arguably the all-time most successful football coach of young teams, having won the FIFA World Youth Championship three times (1995, 1997 and 2001), and the South American Youth Championship (U20) twice (1997 and 1999). He coached the Argentina national football team in the 2006 World Cup. For 2009, he will coach Mexican club UANL Tigres after Manuel Lapuente was dismissed as coach


Career as a player

Pekerman's career as a footballer was uneventful. A midfielder, he played from 1970 to 1974 for Argentinos Juniors scoring 12 goals in 134 matches. He was transferred to Independiente Medellín, in Colombia, where he scored 15 goals in 101 matches.

His career as a player ended at age 28 with a serious knee injury. Pekerman was then forced to support himself and his family with various odd jobs, including a stint as a taxi driver.

Coaching career


Youth Coaching

Back in Argentina, he worked as a youth coach for Chacarita Juniors and then occupied the same position with Argentinos Juniors. He then moved to Chile to coach Colo-Colo's youth divisions.

In 1994, he was offered to coach the Argentinian national under-20 and under-17 sides by the Argentine Football Association. This caused some surprise as his résumé did not include any major achievements at this stage. He teamed up with Hugo Tocalli and coach Eduardo Urtasun.

Pekerman's success, however, silenced the critics: his under-20 team won the FIFA World Youth Championship three times, 1995 (Qatar), 1997 (Malaysia), and 2001 (Argentina), thus giving the names to his three pet dogs - Qatar, Malaysia and Argentina. The team also won the two South American Youth Championships in 1997 and 1999.

When the national coach Daniel Passarella resigned after the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Pekerman was offered his position. He declined, assuming instead the position of General Manager of all national teams. Marcelo Bielsa was hired as coach on Pekerman's recommendation, and remained in charge until after Argentina's gold medal performance in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

In 2003 Pekerman moved to Spain at the behest of Argentine businessman Daniel Grinbank, who had acquired Spanish Second Division side Club Deportivo Leganés. After a few months as Director of Football, the project crumbled, and Pekerman left Spain.

When Bielsa resigned as coach, Pekerman was one of the two candidates for the coaching job, alongside Carlos Bianchi, who had left Boca Juniors a few months earlier, and wanted to take a sabbatical year away from football.

World Cup 2006

On September 15, 2004, Pekerman was named coach of the Argentina national football team, which qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. They dominated its initial Group Stage matches and drew with the Netherlands, emerging on top of their group on goals difference. The albicelestes moved on to the knockout round, beating Mexico 2-1 in a comeback victory.

In the quarterfinals, Argentina went ahead 1-0 against the host nation Germany, but shortly before the end of the match Germany equalized through a Miroslav Klose header. Germany would go on to win on penalties, sending Argentina out of the tournament. After the loss, Pekerman announced his resignation as Argentine national football coach. AFA boss Julio Grondona tried to dissuade Pekerman from leaving. It was later announced that Alfio Basile, who coached Argentina during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, would replace him as coach.

Post World Cup

On 30 May 2007, Pekerman resumed his coaching career, taking up the position of head coach of Club Toluca in Mexico replacing fellow Argentine Américo Gallego. At the end of the Clausura 2008 tournament he was replaced by Jose Manuel de la Torre.

On 23 February 2009, he was appointed as the head coach of UANL Tigres after the sacking of Manuel Lapuente following a series of bad results.

After the end of Clausura 2009, Pekerman was dismissed as Coach of UANL Tigres and was replaced by Daniel Guzman.


Before the World Cup began, Pekerman made controversial decisions of dropping established defenders Javier Zanetti and Walter Samuel. When Argentina was eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinal, his substitution decision caused storms of criticism, as well. Despite the dramatic loss, Pekerman was still hailed by many fans and press as a very effective coach and the "Pekerman Era" is regarded as one that brought a lot of pride to the country. His team lost its temper after the elimination and started a huge brawl, which was believed to be one of the major factors that caused his resignation.

Personal life

Pekerman's grandparents immigrated from the Ukraine and settled in the Jewish colonies of Entre Rios province [1].


External links

Simple English

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