Football

Pep Guardiola appoints former boss Lillo as Manchester City assistant

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has appointed his mentor and coaching inspiration Juanma Lillo as his new assistant, the English Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Lillo, 54, will take up the role vacated by Mikel Arteta, who left the Etihad Stadium to become manager at former club Arsenal.

The Spaniard joins from Qingdao Huanghai, having helped the club to the China League One championship and so helping them achieve promotion to the Super League.

Lillo, who has previously managed Real Sociedad, Vissel Kobe and Real Oviedo, has worked with several world-class talents during his career, including Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Yaya Toure.

He also coached Guardiola towards the end of his playing career, during their shared time in Mexico at Dorados de Sinaloa.

According to The New York Times in 2016, Lillo described the City manager as "one of the most important people in my life, like a son to me".

"My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of this exciting team," Lillo told the club's website on Tuesday.

"Manchester City have enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and their manager.

VAST EXPERIENCE

"It's a pleasure to become a part of this group and I hope to make an important contribution to the club's success going forwards."

City's director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "We are delighted to welcome Juanma... His vast experience working across three continents and with some of the most famous names in world football will be an invaluable asset to City.

"We look forward to him playing a vital role as we return to football."

The EPL is set to resume next week, after the Covid-19 pandemic brought the 2019/20 season to a halt. City will restart their campaign against Arsenal next Thursday morning (Singapore time). - REUTERS, AFP

Football