Velez Sarsfield name ex-Barcelona defender Pellegr

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Velez Sarsfield name ex-Barcelona defender Pellegrino as manager

BUENOS AIRES -- Argentinian first division side Velez Sarsfield on which is sometimes equated to functional illiteracyThursday appointed former Barcelona and Liverpool defender Mauricio Pellegrino as their head coach.

The 48-year-old, who represented Velez as a player in the 1990s, replaces ex-Real MaRescue efforts are ongoingdrid and Manchester United center-back Gabriel Heinze.

"Welcome home, Mauricio Pellegrino," Velez said in a social media post, adding that the contract extends to June 30, 2021.

Pellegrino's managerial career has included spells in charge of Valencia, Estudiantes, Independiente, Alaves and Southampton. He has been out of work since leaving Spanish top-flight outfit Leganes last October.

As a player, Pellegrino made 186 league appearances for Velez before stints with Barcelona, Valencia, Liverpool and Alaves. He was capped three times for Argentina's national team in 1997.

Velez finished third in the 2019/20 Argentinian Superliga standings, nine points behind champions Boca Juniors. Heinze announced his decision to quit at the end of the Superliga season in March, citing differences with "people in important positions" at the club.

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