Pumas name Rafael Puente del Rio as new head coach

Lizzy Becherano
Rafael Puente del Rio is Pumas' newest head coach.
Rafael Puente del Rio is Pumas' newest head coach. / Getty Images/GettyImages

Pumas has named Rafael Puente del Rio as their new head coach, replacing Andres Lillini after his departure from the team following 2022 Liga MX Apertura. 

The team saw a disappointing 2022 campaign, coming in 16th place on the table with 14 points in 17 games and a record of 2W-7L-8D despite adding reinforcements like Dani Alves to the squad. The Apertura results forced Lillini out, paving the way for Rafael Puente del Rio to take the helm. 

"We intend to build a competitive and leading team. Pumas, because its history demands it, has to be the protagonist and it is up to us to provide the players for those goals,” he said. 

“I have control of the league and together with the youth academy, which will be a fundamental pillar, there is the raw material to form a competitive team, being a team that never lowers its arms, that gives itself, that represents UNAM and makes the fans feel proud.”

He joins after having led Gallos de Queretaro, Atlas and Lobos BUAP. Though his previous coaching records do not necessarily impress, he assured the fanbase that he’s willing to give Pumas his all. 

"Giving up is not allowed here and those are the hallmarks accompanied by the intensity of a game that allows Pumas to be the protagonist."

The new head coach will begin working with the team immediately, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura that kicks off on January 6.