Manuel Pellegrini June 2013English Premier League soccer club Manchester City announced Friday that Manuel Pellegrini of Chile has been hired as their new manager.

Pellegrini takes over the reins from Roberto Mancini of Italy, who was fired at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Mancini led City to the league title in the 2011-12 season, but the club finished second place last season behind arch rivals Manchester United. City were also bounced out of the European Champions League in the group stage.

The 59-year old Pellegrini has spent most of his managerial career in the Spanish La Liga, with Villarreal and then Malaga. However, he began his nine-year career in Spain with Real Madrid, but was fired after just one season in charge even though he led the club to a Spanish record for points in a season at the time with 96.

Pellegrini said he’s delighted to be heading to Manchester to take over such a skilled team. He said he believes City has the best squad in the Premier League and is confident he can help them win trophies starting as early as next season. He added that it’s an exciting opportunity that he couldn’t turn down and he’s looking forward to getting to work as soon as possible.

He’ll have to wait until June 25, though, when his three-year contract kicks in. England will be the fifth different country that Pellegrini has managed in over the past 25 years. Along with Spain, he’s also worked in Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman of Manchester City, said Pellegrini has a wealth of experience and knows how to win, which is exactly what the club is looking for in a manager. Mancini wasn’t a complete bust in Manchester though as he led the club to its first league championship since 1968.

Team owners were unhappy with their performances in Europe, however, and the final nail in Mancini’s coffin could have came in May when his team was beaten by the recently-relegated Wigan, 1-0, in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Pellegrini isn’t exactly a trophy-winner either, since he hasn’t won anything while managing in Spain.

Pellegrini managed to take Villarreal to the semifinals of the Champions league in the 2005-06 season, and this year he led Malaga to the quarterfinal stage. He was fired from Real Madrid after the team was knocked out of the Champions League in the second round.

He was replaced by Jose Mourinho of Portugal. Mourinho recently left Madrid and is taking over at Chelsea of England for the upcoming season.

After City fired Mancini, the club was still busy in the transfer market. They recently signed midfielder Fernandinho of Brazil and winger Jesus Navas of Spain for a total of about $80 million.

Pellegrini believes the new players will make the squad even stronger and if everybody does their job, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to challenge for the league title, the Champions League and domestic cups this season.

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