Alaves appoint Argentine Zubeldia as new coach

Luis Zubeldia has coached in Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico (AFP Photo/RODRIGO BUENDIA)

Madrid (AFP) - Alaves have named Argentine Luis Zubeldia as their new coach after his fellow countryman Mauricio Pellegrino stepped down, the Spanish club announced.

In a statement, Alaves said the 36-year-old was joining from Colombia's Independiente Medellin and was "one of the most prominent coaches in South American football."

Alaves lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final last month. Soon after, Pellegrino said he would not stay on.

He led Alaves to an impressive ninth-placed finish in their first season back in the Spanish top flight for a decade.

Zubeldia played in Argentina and captained Lanus before retiring aged just 23 due to a serious knee injury.

Four years later, he was named coach of the club from the Buenos Aires suburbs, becoming the youngest coach to start out in Argentina's top flight in the process.

He has also coached in Ecuador and Mexico.