28 Feb 1973
Xavi Valero was appointed as West Ham United’s goalkeeper coach in June 2018.
The Spaniard is an experienced, widely-respected coach who has spent more than a decade working at the very highest level in both English and Spanish football.
Born in the city of Castellon near Valencia on Spain’s east coast, Valero spent his playing days predominantly with his hometown club and Lorgones, later enjoying short spells with Real Murcia, Cordoba, Recreativo de Huelva and Gramanet.
He also spent time with League One club in 2005, making four league appearances for the Welsh side and improving the English language skills he initially developed while studying at Jaime I University in Castellon.
A student of the game, Valero also took his coaching badges, gaining a Masters degree in goalkeeper coaching from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and a Masters degree in sports psychology from the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED).
Valero’s coaching career began in 2007, when he was recommended to Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez by his former Logrones goalkeeper coach Jose Manuel Ochotorena – the start of a working relationship which spanned nine seasons and five top European clubs.
Valero was a member of Benitez’s backroom staff at Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid, winning two Supercoppa Italiana, the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Europa League and Coppa Italia and working with the likes of Jerzy Dudek, Pepe Reina, Julio Cesar, Petr Cech and Keylor Navas.
In August 2016, he joined forces with Pellegrini for the first time at Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune, before following the Chilean to east London nearly two years later.