Valencia hires Juan Pizzi as new coach

Valencia has hired Juan Antonio Pizzi as coach, its fourth in

the last year and a half.

The 45-year-old Argentine replaces interim coach Nico Estevez,

who took over after Miroslav Djukic’s six-month tenure ended with

his firing last week.

Valencia is in 11th place in the Spanish league and five points

above the relegation zone.

Pizzi guided San Lorenzo to Argentina’s Torneo Inicial title in

December.

Pizzi played for Valencia, Barcelona, Villarreal and Tenerife.

He was the league’s leading scorer with 31 goals for Tenerife in

the 1995-96 season.

Valencia is heavily indebted and among seven Spanish clubs being

investigated by the European Union for the alleged receipt of

illegal public aid.