Global experience and an eye for talent - Mario Husillos in profile
Born near the capital Buenos Aires in February 1959, Mario Husillos joined Boca Juniors as a teenager, making his first-team debut in 1977 and scoring the winning goal in the Superclasico win over River Plate at the age of 18 the following year.
The forward moved to Spain in 1979, joining Real Madrid Castilla before returning to his homeland with Loma Negra, for whom he led the Primera Division goal scoring charts in 1983.
After spells with San Lorenzo and Spanish clubs Cartagena and Real Murcia, Husillos joined Malaga for the first time as a player in 1985, scoring 33 goals across three seasons in Spain’s Segunda Division. He returned to Malaga for two further playing stints in 1991 and 1993, also turning out for Tenerife, Cadiz and Cieza, before hanging up his boots in 1994.
Husillos then kicked-off his coaching and scouting career, leading Argentinian club Almagro to the top flight for the first time in 67 years in 2000, before returning to Spain as sporting director of one of his old clubs, Real Murcia.
In 2006, Malaga came calling again, this time to appoint Husillos as coach of the club’s B team, Atletico Malaguenol. After a spell as technical director at Saudi Premier League champions Al-Ittihad, he returned to Malaga as sporting director, in 2012.
There, he recruited the likes of Saviola, Santa Cruz, Ochoa, Portugal full-back Vitorino Antunes, Morocco midfielder Nordin Amrabat and Ivory Coast left-back Arthur Boka and oversaw the promotion of a succession of outstanding youngsters from the club's Academy as Malaga challenged at the top end of La Liga throughout his three-and-a-half-year stay.
In his season working alongside Pellegrini, 2012/13, Malaga finished sixth in La Liga and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Husillos then worked closely with Malaga managers Bernd Schuster and Javi Gracia to ensure the team remained competitive in the top half of the table, despite the loss of the likes of Isco, Joaquin and Willy Caballero.
After a stint with Greek giants Olympiacos in 2017, he spent the second half of last season Malaga before heading to east London to re-join forces with Pellegrini.