November 19, 2019 / 10:27 PM / 22 days ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Factbox on Argentine Mauricio Pochettino who was sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Born: March 2, 1972 in Murphy, Santa Fe, Argentina.

PLAYING CAREER

The centre back began his playing career with Newell’s Old Boys in 1988, making his debut at the age of 16.

Claimed his first piece of silverware in 1991 when Newell’s were crowned champions of the Argentine Primera Division.

Signed for Spanish side Espanyol in 1994, making more than 200 appearances and winning the King’s Cup before joining Paris St Germain in 2000.

Made his Argentina debut in 1999 and went on to earn 20 caps, playing in the 2002 World Cup, where he conceded a penalty that David Beckham scored in England’s 1-0 group stage victory.

Left PSG for Girondins Bordeaux in 2003, but struggled to settle in the south of France and rejoined Espanyol on loan during the second half of the season.

Dubbed the ‘Sheriff of Murphy’ because of where he grew up, Pochettino joined Espanyol permanently after the 2003 season and won a second King’s Cup in 2006 before retiring at 34.

COACHING CAREER

Following his retirement from playing, Pochettino took his coaching qualifications and had a stint as assistant manager of Espanyol’s successful women’s side.

In January 2009 at the age of 36, he took charge of third-bottom Espanyol and took them to a 10th-place finish in La Liga.

Espanyol ended in mid-table in each of the following two seasons, just missing out on qualifying for the Europa League in 2011 after spending much of the campaign in the top five.

Although they slipped to 14th the next season, Pochettino became their fourth-longest-serving manager, having developed a reputation for bringing young players through the academy.

At the start of the 2012-13 season, Pochettino expressed concerns about the club’s financial situation, and with the team bottom of La Liga, he left by mutual consent in November 2012.

SOUTHAMPTON

Pochettino replaced Nigel Adkins as manager of Premier League Southampton in January 2013 as the south-coast club looked to stay up after promotion the previous season.

Despite being relatively unknown in England, Pochettino guided the club to a 14th-place finish after adopting a high-pressing, attacking style of play.

The Argentine continued his philosophy of developing home-grown talent with England’s 18-year-old left back Luke Shaw bursting on to the scene, while the likes of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez also flourished under him.

After a solid start to the 2013-14 season, Pochettino led them to eighth, their highest ever finish in the Premier League.

With a year left on his contract and uncertainty surrounding the future of key players, such as England internationals Shaw and Lallana, Pochettino decided to join Tottenham Hotspur, where he became the second Argentine to manage the club after Osvaldo Ardiles.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Pochettino was appointed Spurs head coach on a five-year deal for the 2014-15 season to replace Tim Sherwood. He became Tottenham’s 10th manager since 2001 under chairman Daniel Levy.

Spurs finished fifth in his first season and reached the final of the League Cup. They then battled 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester City for the title in 2015-16 but the Foxes won the race while the London club finished third to claim a Champions League spot for the first time since 2010-11.

Pochettino continued to foster young players and the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier and Harry Winks all blossomed at the club and with England.

The Argentine penned a new five-year deal in May 2016 and Tottenham maintained their upward trajectory, finishing second and then third again over the following two campaigns as well as reaching the Champions League last 16 in 2017-18.

Fan-favourite Pochettino, dubbed ‘Magic’ by the Tottenham faithful, signed another five-year contract in May 2018 as Levy put his faith in the manager’s ability to bring success.

Despite operating with a much lower transfer budget than other top European clubs and having to play at Wembley while their new one billion pound ($1.29 billion) stadium was built, Spurs reached their first Champions League final after recovering from 3-0 down on aggregate away against Ajax Amsterdam in the semi-finals.

However, Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the final in Madrid and a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign — with the club languishing in 14th place in the Premier League and having been thrashed 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League — led to the 47-year-old Pochettino being sacked on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.7738 pounds) (Compiled by Ken Ferris; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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