Pellegrini Prays, Mourinho Awaits

Cristian SireraContributor IMay 17, 2010

MALAGA, SPAIN - MAY 16:  Head coach Manuel Pellegrini (C) of Real Madrid follows his players during the La Liga match between Malaga and Real Madrid at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 16, 2010 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini is enjoying his last hours as Real Madrid coach. The Spanish media sees the firing of the Chilean by Florentino Perez inevitable.

The Chilean coach managed to waste all three title chances this season, and even though the former Villarreal man counts with the support from several Real Madrid players (including Raul and Casillas, the two captains), a year with nothing to celebrate might be a bit too much of a setback for Don Manuel.

Even though the team's overall performance has vastly improved from previous seasons, Pellegrini has not been able to bring the polished and intelligent style of play that amazed the nation, back in Villarreal times.

Throughout the year, the criticism has come from all fronts.

A team that knew how to score six goals, but had to come from behind nearly every single game; on the other side of the coin, Barcelona did not struggle to win the games it needed to win in order to clinch the title—including a comfortable 0-2 win at the Bernabeu. Guardiola's men once again proved their reliability with a 4-0 win against Valladolid, a team looking to avoid relegation against all odds.

With the more-than-possible firing of Pellegrini, the Special One's shadow is closer than ever. Jose Mourinho has already said he is nearly done in Italy; he had said he would like to manage Real Madrid; a couple of days ago, he even announced it as clearly as possible, letting everyone know that Italy was not his home, and that it was not easy to coach there.

The ball is now in Florentino Perez's court.

Real Madrid's president will have to make a major effort to bring the Portuguese coach to the capital of the country, paying over ten million dollars to Inter in order to sign him, plus salary. While in Barcelona, Cruyff admits "no coach is worth that much money". In Madrid they only see Barcelona's skepticism to pay that much for who used to be "The Translator" in Can Barca.

As the events develop, the story seems to be headed to an ending that would bring Mourinho and Ronaldo together, and Pellegrini out of the picture... and back in Vila-real?