Over time there have been great, unforgettable, and legendary players that have worn the Pumas jersey. One of these players was the Argentine Bruno Marioni.
Bruno Marioni arrived at Pumas in 2004, making his way from his native country’s team Independiente, Marioni had a task at hand: achieve greatness. During his time in the Auriazul squad, he capped 57 times and scored a total of 23 goals.
His first tournament with the Auriazulez took place in the Clausura 2004. During this tournament, Marioni went on to become the league’s top-goalscorer finding the back of the net a total of 18 times. Pumas this season went on to win the Clausura 2004 against Chivas, where Marioni scored twice in the Liguilla. Marioni’s talent helps the club in achieving Mexico’s top-flight trophy, and more was to come, of course.
During the Apertura 2004, Marioni was again essential for Pumas with goals and top-class performances. Although he didn’t get that many goals like his debut tournament, he was fundamental in helping Bolivian goal-scorer Joaquín Botero score a total of 11 goals. Marioni performed well enough for the team to conquer the beloved Bicampeonato beating Monterrey 3-1 on aggregate.
Amid declining proficiency, Pumas and Bruno Marioni found themselves participating in the Copa Sudamericana 2005. Bruno Marioni was the competition’s top goal-scorer with seven goals. Pumas, with the help of Marioni, knocked out teams along the way like The Strongest from Bolivia, Corinthians from Brazil, and Velez from Argentina before reaching the final.
Pumas, went on to lose the Copa Sudamericana final against Boca Juniors in a penalty shootout when Roberto Abbondanzieri controversially stopped a penalty after having been forgiven a red card for handling the ball outside the penalty box denying a Pumas player a clear chance on goal.
Following the lost final, Pumas themselves declined to almost facing relegation. Marioni finished his spell in Pumas in the Summer of 2006, where he also joined Liga MX team Toluca, where he also became top-goalscorer for Los Diablos Rojos (The Red Demons).
Years after leaving the squad, Pumas announced the departure of David Patiño. Later that day, Pumas announced Bruno Marioni as the club’s new head coach. Marioni’s spell as a coach didn’t quite go so well as he would’ve liked. With only eight victories, three draws, and seven losses, the club decided he wasn’t fit for the job and was sacked at the end of the Clausura 2019. His spot was taken by Spaniard Michel, who continues to be the club’s current head coach.
Marioni was set for success both times he joined the club, as a player, he was more successful than he was a manager. The Argentine, although rejected by many as a coach, he worked hard every time to decide on a winning formula that would help the team reach their set objectives.
Marioni, had some excellent games both as a player and a coach, what do you think were some of his best performances while doing both? Let us know in the comments section.