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Boca Juniors Legend Martin Palermo announced as Pachuca’s new coach

The Argentine comes to Mexico after two years of managing Chilean club Union Española.

Boca Juniors v Etoile Sahel --- FIFA Club World Cup 2007 Semi Final Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Boca Juniors legend Martin Palermo will be the next head coach of Club Pachuca, the club announced on social media Jan. 21.

It seems Los Tuzos’ front office might have been planning former coach Pako Ayestaran’s dismissal for some time now. Less than 48 hours after Ayestaran’s departure from the club following a Jornada 3 loss to America, Pachuca announced Palermo as its new strategist.

El Loco Palermo makes his way to Mexico for the first time ever after coaching Chilean club Union Española from 2016-18. He was let go of his position back in November two weeks from the Chilean season’s end after an eighth-place finish.

His best results came in his second season in charge of Union when the club finished as runners-up in the 2017 Campeonato Nacional.

Before that, Palermo coached Godoy Cruz (2012-13) and Arsenal de Sarandi (2014-15) in his native Argentina.

Also coming with Palermo to Pachuca is fellow Boca Juniors legend and former Argentina keeper Roberto Pato Abbondanzieri, who will serve as his assistant coach.

As a player, Palermo made his debut with Estudiantes de la Plata but is best known for his two legendary spells at Boca Juniors. While at Boca, Palermo won six Argentine leagues, two Copa Libertadores titles, two Copa Sudamericana titles, one Intercontinental Cup and two Recopa Sudamericanas. He’s also the club’s top goalscorer of all time, with 236 goals in 404 appearances.

Palermo also had a brief and unsuccessful run in Europe with Spanish teams Villarreal, Real Betis and Alaves.

Greece v Argentina: Group B - 2010 FIFA World Cup
Palermo became the oldest player (36) to score for Argentina in the 2010 World Cup against Greece. He embraces then-coach Diego Maradona, current coach of Dorados de Sinaloa
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

With La Albiceleste, Palermo made just 15 appearances, scoring nine times. He laced up his cleats in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa for current Dorados manager Diego Maradona.

Did you know: The reason Palermo’s international career was not as glamorous as his club one was because: During a 1999 Copa America game against Colombia, Palermo received a Guinness World Record for missing three penalties in a single international match. One shot ricocheted off the crossbar, another went over the goal and the third was saved by Colombia keeper and Pachuca legend Miguel Calero. Damn, if that’s not irony.

Pachuca finds itself sitting in 13th place with one win and two losses, with those losses having an aggregate score of 0-8.

Ayestaran’s Pachuca played well in most matches last season and had two stars in Victor Guzman and Franco Jara, but ultimately failed to make the liguilla for the fourth tournament in a row, something the front office hopes Palermo will change.

Pachuca will play Tijuana at home Jan. 23 in the Copa MX and will stay home for its game with Pumas UNAM on Jan. 29 in the league.

You can follow Antonio on Twitter @antonio1998__