Juan Antonio Pizzi

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Juan Antonio Pizzi
J.A. Pizzi.JPG
Pizzi with Universidad Católica in 2011
Personal information
Full name Juan Antonio Pizzi Torroja
Date of birth (1968-06-07) 7 June 1968 (age 50)
Place of birth Santa Fe, Argentina
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
León (coach)
Youth career
Rosario Central
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1990 Rosario Central 57 (27)
1990–1991 Toluca 30 (12)
1991–1993 Tenerife 68 (30)
1993–1994 Valencia 19 (4)
1994–1996 Tenerife 73 (46)
1996–1998 Barcelona 48 (11)
1998–1999 River Plate 17 (6)
1999–2000 Rosario Central 28 (19)
2000 Porto 11 (3)
2001 Rosario Central 28 (11)
2002 Villarreal 13 (1)
Total 364 (160)
National team
1994–1998 Spain 22 (8)
Teams managed
2005 Colón Santa Fe
2006 Universidad San Martín
2009–2010 Santiago Morning
2010–2011 Universidad Católica
2011–2012 Rosario Central
2012–2013 San Lorenzo
2013–2014 Valencia
2014– León

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Juan Antonio Pizzi Torroja (born 7 June 1968) is a retired professional footballer who played as a striker, and the current manager of Club León in Mexico.

He spent the bulk of his club career in Spain, mainly at Tenerife, helping to the side's consolidation in La Liga and amassing top division totals of 221 games and 92 goals over the course of eight seasons – he also played for Valencia and Barcelona.

Born in Argentina, Pizzi represented the Spanish national team for four years,[1] appearing with it in one World Cup and one European Championship. After retiring, he embarked on a managerial career.

Club career

Born in Santa Fe, Pizzi started his professional career with Rosario Central, before transferring to Mexico's Deportivo Toluca FC. After only one year he moved to CD Tenerife, experiencing great individual success (30 goals in his first two seasons combined) while also helping the Canary Islands club qualify for the UEFA Cup in his second year.

This performances prompted interest from fellow La Liga side Valencia CF, and his subsequent purchase. However, highly unsettled, Pizzi returned at the end of the campaign to his previous team and in the second season in his second spell he fired the team into another UEFA Cup qualification, topping the goal charts at 31 in 41 games, also good enough for the European Golden Boot.

After that, Pizzi transferred to FC Barcelona: never an undisputed starter, barred by Ronaldo, Sonny Anderson and the versatile Luis Enrique during his two-season stint, he managed to net 11 times in the league alone, being very popular among the Camp Nou faithful.

With Barcelona he won the Spanish Supercup in 1996, the UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey in 1997, conquering the latter again in the following year, in which he also won his only league title. Arguably, his most memorable moment was the decisive goal in the 5–4 home win over Atlético Madrid in the domestic cup's quarterfinals second leg, after the Blaugrana trailed 0–3 at half-time.[2]

Subsequently Pizzi returned to Argentina to play for Club Atlético River Plate, then had an unassuming spell in Portugal for F.C. Porto. After starting 2001–02 back with Rosario he signed with Villarreal CF for its closure, as the club had lost to a severe leg injury countryman Martín Palermo.

After his retirement, aged almost 34, Pizzi played polo in the Barcelona region, then started his coaching career. Together with José del Solar he managed Argentine first division's Club Atlético Colón at the beginning of the Clausura 2005, but both were sacked after three losses in the first three matches.

On 13 April 2006 Pizzi became the coach of Club Deportivo Universidad de San Martín de Porres, in the Peruvian top level.[3] He returned to his country of birth five years later, working with Rosario Central and San Lorenzo de Almagro and winning the 2013 Inicial with the latter.[4]

On 26 December 2013 Pizzi returned to Valencia after 20 years, being appointed manager.[5][6] His first game in charge was on 4 January of the following year, a 2–0 derby home win over Levante UD.[7]

Pizzi was sacked on 2 July 2014, after new owner Peter Lim took over. It was the first time in 16 years that Valencia had failed to qualify for Europe, after an eighth-place finish.[8]

International career

Pizzi gained 22 caps for Spain and scored eight goals, his debut coming on 30 November 1994 in a 2–0 friendly win with Finland. In the following year, on 20 September, he helped beat his country of birth Argentina 2–1, in an exhibition game played in Madrid.[9]

Pizzi was part of the squads for UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. In the latter, after replacing Fernando Morientes in a 0–0 draw against Paraguay as Spain exited in the group stage, he retired from the international scene.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 18 January 1995 Riazor, A Coruña, Spain  Uruguay 1–0 2–2 Friendly
2. 6 September 1995 Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain  Cyprus 3–0 6–0 Euro 1996 qualifying
3. 6 September 1995 Los Cármenes, Granada, Spain  Cyprus 5–0 6–0 Euro 1996 qualifying
4. 20 September 1995 Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain  Argentina 1–0 2–1 Friendly
5. 13 November 1996 Heliodoro Rodríguez, Tenerife, Spain  Slovakia 1–0 4–1 1998 World Cup qualification
6. 12 February 1997 Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain  Malta 4–0 4–0 1998 World Cup qualification
7. 3 June 1998 El Sardinero, Santander, Spain  Northern Ireland 1–0 4–1 Friendly
8. 3 June 1998 El Sardinero, Santander, Spain  Northern Ireland 2–0 4–1 Friendly




Pizzi in action with Rosario Central in 1987




Universidad Católica
San Lorenzo



  1. Clemente abre las puertas a los nacionalizados (Clemente opens doors to naturalized); El País, 8 November 1994 (Spanish)
  2. 16-year anniversary of FC Barcelona's historic 5–4 comeback against Atlético Madrid; Barcelona's official website, 3 December 2013
  3. Pizzi asumió en Deportivo San Martín (Pizzi took over at Deportivo San Martín); Terra, 13 April 2006 (Spanish)
  4. Pizzi, de renunciado a campeón (Pizzi, from surplus to champion); Goal.com, 16 December 2013 (Spanish)
  5. "Official VCF statement". Valencia's official website. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Valle, Conrado (26 December 2013). "Valencia officially announce Juan Antonio Pizzi as new coach". Diario AS. Retrieved 27 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "¡Che, qué bueno que viniste!" (in Spanish). Marca. 4 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Valencia sack Juan Antonio Pizzi after just half a season in charge at the Mestalla" (in Spanish). Daily Mirror. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Juan Antonio Pizzi Torroja – Goals in International Matches; at RSSSF
  10. "1996/97: Ronaldo spot on for Barça". UEFA.com. 14 May 1997. Retrieved 16 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "1997: Barça in command". UEFA.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Barça de titanes" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 29 June 1997. Retrieved 16 February 2015. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "La Copa más histórica" (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 30 April 1998. Retrieved 16 February 2015. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Título con súper-susto" (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 29 August 1996. Retrieved 16 February 2015. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links