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Pierre Pellegri: The Pink Panther

Started on 6 May 2020 by Justice
Latest Reply on 2 June 2020 by Griffo
I was wondering how the Pink Panther fit into this. Clever.
A talented player who scores wherever he goes it seems. I can't imagine a better place for such a man than LA to see out his career.
He's certainly set his stall out for all to see! I want to see how his personality switches from 'player' mode to new manager mode.


In an exclusive interview for our fansite, Pierre Pellegri opens up on his life so far. The French football legend opens up on his past and discusses how public interest in his life changed the way he approached his football career. Pellegri also discusses his intention to return to football in a managerial capacity

Pierre, you've been a busy man since moving to Los Angeles in 2010. Can you catch us up on your time in the US?

"It has been quite wild, as to be expected for me! I moved to LA in June 2006 and signed a contract with Galaxy at the time. I was given a month to settle into the new country in which time I got to know the city, and some of the women, pretty well. I rented a house in the (Beverly) Hills, which I know own, and engrossed myself in the culture of the city.

I made my MLS debut later that year, which was rather interesting. Football is a lot bigger here than it used to be - there were very few fans of the sport at the time. Of course, Galaxy had Landon Donovan who would go on to become a legend of the game for the MLS and internationally for the US. We didn't win any trophies between 2006 and when I retired from playing in 2010, but it was a good ride. I enjoyed it.

The lifestyle here is crazy. It isn't like the rest of the US, which already likes to live more extremely than in the US, where things are perhaps more relaxed and maybe a little more cultured - LA takes everything to a new level. Some of the wealthiest, most successful and most famous people on the planet live here, and the city certainly caters for that. There has never been a dull night for me here.

I've set up a few businesses too. I have a clothing brand which is of the quality of most high-end designer brands but certainly more accessible for high street shoppers. That business has kept me quite busy at times, but we have full-time staff who work on that. I've helped set up a few other small businesses and non-profit organisations that aim to help children from troubled backgrounds. That is something important for me."

You've been spotted in Hollywood rubbing shoulders with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Hart. How close are you to these A-List celebrities? Were you ever nervous to meet them?

"We're very good friends. Leo and I go back years and we share similar interests. We spend a lot of time in each other's company, when we're not preoccupied by female companions or other businesses. I also spend a lot of time with Harty, Mark Wahlberg and a few others. I've made quite a few friends here.

I don't think I was ever nervous to talk to these guys. They might be the most well-known people in the world, and certainly inspire millions, but I am quite used to associating with celebrities. Zizou (Zinedine Zidane) and Ronaldo were among the famous players I've played with or against. Eric (Cantona) would like to be top of that last but he's more deluded than he was good at football, truth be told.

Back in France, and even in Palermo, I was used to having cameras flash and being crowded out whenever I left my front door. Coming to the US where football is not so popular - I didn't get that so much when I was playing for Galaxy. Funnily enough, now that football is quite popular here, I get crowded by paparazzi more than I did when I was playing!"

You said the media didn't give you a lot of space during your days playing in Europe. Did that ever push you into making a decision for your career?

"It did. I love being the cover of magazines and making front-page headlines on newspapers but a line has to be drawn somewhere. At times I got frustrated with the media coverage of myself. I was often painted as a wild spirit who had no care for his career or for other people. That was never true. I enjoyed how I celebrated my life, yes, but I never took anything for granted.

In 2000, I had a choice between extending my contract with Lyon, moving to one of many major European clubs interested in me, or move to a club where I didn't have to fight off reporters with a stick every minute of every day. I loved being in the spotlight - but only when I wanted to be in it. I was always good at showing up for the camera but I didn't want to be broadcast to the world every second of every day. That was rather intrusive.

In the end, I knew that I didn't have many options where I wouldn't get followed by the press too much. Sicily made sense - an island at the end of Italy. I could still enjoy my football at a club that wanted to be competitive at the highest level. Of course, there was still plenty of paparazzi there, but I was able to evade them when I wanted to.

Then, when Galaxy came in for me, it was an easy decision. I joined a club where I could express myself and be in front of the camera when I wanted and hide from it when I didn't want to be seen. It was the right move at the time of my life. I got to experience respect without fame - it was a nice change."

The MLS has certainly exploded since you joined the league. Just how far has the league come?

"I certainly made a difference - that's not something that can be denied. David (Beckham) joined the following year and together we were certainly pioneers. We revolutionised the league together. The pillars of the league were certainly built as a result of our brave moves to the US. We were brave - entering relatively unknown ground. It was a risk for both of us but we certainly made the most of the opportunity.

How far has the league come since? The players that followed us over emphasises just how much - Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, David Villa and, probably most famously, Zlatan Ibrahimović. Would they have signed for the MLS had David and I not taken the risks we did? I don't think so."

As you said, the list goes on. In terms of managers, the league has also attracted some reputable names, including a former team mate of yours for the French National Team, Patrick Vieira. Would you ever consider following in his footsteps by turning to management?

"That is an objective of mine. I took a lot of time out from football after retiring from playing in 2010 but in the last few years I have worked towards gaining my coaching badges. From trips back to Europe, I now hold a UEFA Pro License. I plan on returning to Europe in the future to manage a football team. It is something I'd like to do, for sure.

I don't quite know where I'd like to manage. I would have to consider what jobs are available and then make a decision. I wouldn't take a job for the sake of taking a job - it has to be the right fit for me."

Face was computer generated on
Club logos: Footbe logos
Everything else was self-designed.


Eoin97, he's on a mission now. Management is on his mind!
J_ames, he does like a good shindig!
Griffo, I forgive you ;)
ScottT, thank you
TheLFCFan, the perfect place for him!
Jack, better than setting his testicles out for all to see, I suppose
Brilliant writing, tying in Palermo into your story is class, I wonder who the Pink Panther's first club will be?
With plenty of ability on the pitch, it'll be interesting to see if that translates into management with whoever opts to give him his first break into the coaching side of things.
Nice little interview, would love to see you manage in the MLS!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
4 yearsEdited


Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers today announced the appointment of Pierre Pellegri as their new first-team manager. The former French international joins on a three year deal as Wolves look to avoid the drop, having made a disastrous start to the season domestically.

The appointment comes after the dismissal of Nuno Espírito Santo, who had been in charge since 2017. The outspoken Portuguese manager had enjoyed considerable success with the club, leading them to EFL Championship glory and a 7th place finish in the Premier League in his first two seasons but was given his marching orders following a 1-2 defeat at home to Leicester twelve days ago.

Despite an impressive European campaign to date, with Wolves leading a UEFA Europa League group containing Sporting CP, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolsberger AC, the midlands club sit second-bottom in the Premier League with just two points, having won none of their opening twelve games of the season. A defeat to Manchester United in the EFL Cup third round added insult to injury in what has so far been a very disappointing campaign.

Pellegri joins the club having never been involved in management previously. The forty-nine year old is most famous for his performances in the shirts of Olympique Lyonnais and France in the 1990s, and Palermo and LA Galaxy in the 2000s. He won two Ligue 1 Golden Boots as a striker, and scored crucial goals to help France win the World Cup and European Championship in 1998 and 2000 respectively.

Question marks have been raised over Pellegri's shock appointment at Wolves, with Massimilian Allegri, Ernesto Valverde and Mauricio Pochettino all considered likely candidates for the job. Despite Pellegri's lack of experience, he put pen to paper on a deal lasting until June 2022 worth an approximate £31,000 per week (£4.2M in total). The contract is believed to have a clause that would see a 35% wage reduction if Wolves do get relegated this season. However, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi may not allow Pellegri to stay on should Wolves be relegated.

One of the major problems that Pellegri will need to overcome this season is Wolves' lacklustre scoring record in the Premier League this season. The league's second-bottom side have scored just six goals in twelve games so far, with strikers Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez only mustering just a goal each. Indeed, central defender and captain Conor Coady is the only player to score more than once (2) in the league for Wolves so far this season in what has been a bitterly disappointing campaign to date.

Whatever Pellegri plans to reinvigorate his side's attackers, he will have to do without the services of Raúl Jiménez for the next few weeks. Jiménez strained his knee ligaments during international duty last week and is expected to be out of action until mid-December. With Wolves set to play against Arsenal and Manchester United in the coming weeks, they will hope for a speedy return to fitness from their talismanic attacker.

The transfer rumour mill has already pumped out a number of potential signings that Pellegri is thought to be considering. At the forefront of those rumours is a potential January loan move for out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman has started just once in the league this season, appearing as a substitute in seven other games. Chelsea would be reluctant to let Giroud go, however, and may request £2.5M for a half-season loan.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi has reportedly entrusted Pellegri with a £20M transfer budget for the January window. Should Giroud prove to be unattainable, Stade Rennais attacker M'baye Niang is considered to be a potential alternative. Real Madrid striker Mariano is available for £12M, which may tempt Wolves into a move, but his £140k p/w wage is considered to be a significant stumbling block.

Before Pellegri can set his sights on the January transfer window, he has a number of tricky obstacles to overcome first. Games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City will come in a hectic January but Wolves will first need to see out November with games against fellow strugglers Brighton and European opposition Wolfsberger AC. The game against Brighton will be played tomorrow at the American Express Stadium in Brighton, with Pellegri expected to take charge of his new team for the first time.

Despite being expected to now face relegation, the former Lyon star remains optimistic that his side can still have a good season and is unfazed by the criticism leveled at him for his lack of experience in management. Pellegri has set his targets on creating a positive environment in the dressing room and lifting the players' form to a level they have shown previously.

Pierre Pellegri:
"It is a magnificent opportunity for myself to be able to come to this football club and manage in the Premier League. Wolves has a fantastic background with incredible supporters and ambitious ownership. The club has come a long way in recent years, from playing in the third tier of English football to now competing in Europe, and deserves to be playing at the highest level. The objective is to push even further and become the best we can be.

Everybody knows how difficult the Premier League is. There is so much money floating around that every team can go out and buy world class players. I think the start of this season has certainly been a reminder of that. For us, it is now important that we lift ourselves and stay positive, and that we make sure we remind the rest of the league just how good we are. We need to show that what has happened so far was just bad form and that we are still very capable of being an incredible threat.

Tomorrow will be interesting. Brighton are a good team and very hard to beat. They need to win because they are in the relegation zone and we need to win because we are in the relegation zone. It won't be easy but we will fight and I am sure that we will get what we deserve, if we put the work in. It'll be a bit more difficult for us with Raúl Jiménez and Bruno Alves both out injured but we are positive. We will always be positive."


FMBlake, thank you! And now we know ;)
ScottT, he has a monumental challenge at Wolves with them so far down the table.
Griffo, not today ;)
Great club to start with and how far can he go with him before moving onto something bigger.
Love Wolves as a team and will be interesting to see how Big Pierre gets on and stamps down his authority. And man that header is legendary :))
INTERESTING! I wonder how the balance of Portugese talent at the club will shift now with a French manager...
Will you be bringing in your son Pietro? ;)
Interesting! Surprised to see Wolves struggling this season and understandably Nuno was given his matching-orders. It's an unbelievable opportunity for someone with no managerial experience. Best of luck to Pierre, he's bound to have the contacts to support him.

Screw this article though, what are those fan theories?!
Pierre has his work cut out in the Midlands, I wonder if he'll put the boots back on if his strikers continue to struggle in front of goal! Hopefully you can steady the ship as quickly as possible and start climbing the table, the next transfer window can't come soon enough really.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
4 yearsEdited

Basic Info

Name: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Location: Wolverhampton, England
Club Status: Professional
Nickname: Wolves
Founded: 1877
League: Premier League (1st tier), England

Owner: Guo Guangchang
Chairman: Jeff Shi
Manager: Pierre Pellegri
Assistant Manager: N/A

Captain: Conor Coady
Vice Captain: Rúben Neves
Key Player: João Moutinho
Hot Prospect: Rúben Vinagre

Club Facilities

Stadium: Molineux
Location: Wolverhampton, England
Capacity: 32,852 (all-seater)
Under Soil Heating: Yes
Roof: No
Surface Type: Grass

Corporate Facilities: Good
Training Facilities: Excellent
Data Analysis Facilities: Excellent
Youth Facilities: Excellent
Junior Coaching: Adequate
Youth Recruitment: Adequate

Club Rivals

Black County Derby vs West Bromwich Albion

Fierce Rivals
Birmingham City (Local)
West Bromwich Albion (Local)

Other Rivals
Aston Villa (Local)
Stoke City (Local)

Club History

Trophies Won: 21
League Competitions
Premier League x3 (1954, 1958, 1959)
EFL Championship x4 (1932, 1977, 2009, 2018)
EFL League One x2 (1989, 2014)
EFL League Two x1 (1988)

Cup Competitions
FA Cup x4 (1893, 1908, 1949, 1960)
EFL Cup x2 (1974, 1980)
FA Community Shield x4 (1949, 1954, 1959, 1960)
EFL Trophy x1 (1988)

Current Season: Premier League | 19th (After 12 games)

Last Five Seasons:
2018/2019: Premier League | 7th
2017/2018: EFL Championship | 1st
2016/2017: EFL Championship | 15th
2015/2016: EFL Championship | 14th
2014/2015: EFL Championship | 7th

Club Legends

Billy Wright | Player
Steve Bull | Player
Jack Hayward | Chairman
Stan Cullis | Player & Manager


tedbro20, I couldn't believe my luck when the offer came in - no way could it be turned down!
Eoin97, he'll have his work cut out for him with Wolves in a very dangerous position.
Griffo, transfer windows will certainly be interesting!
Jack, he might be out of my budget range ;)
ScottT, supposedly one of them is Scott gave up writing to pursue a career with his OnlyFans account.
J_ames, he may be tempted, judging by the lack of goals the current set of strikers are producing!

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