Former Manchester City star Roque Santa Cruz has revealed that he served as an informer for Manuel Pellegrini ahead of the Chilean manager taking over at Eastlands.
Santa Cruz’s spell at City was plagued by injury and the striker only managed to score 4 goals in 24 appearances.
The Paraguayan international played under Pellegrini at Malaga last season and has said that the manager picked his brains about the atmosphere of the City dressing room.
“He did not ask for advice as such but we did speak about the dressing room,” Santa Cruz told Fox Sports Asia.
“He is one of those guys who really takes a lot of care when it comes to how healthy the dressing room is in terms of friendship and good guys.
“He was very interested in knowing how the guys are.”
The striker also revealed that the new boss admitted to being nervous ahead of working in England.
“He also had his fears – going into a league he did not know too well – but it won’t be hard one bit for him because of the type of person he is,” he said.
“Also the guys in the dressing room are nice and friendly and will welcome him.”
Pellegrini controversially replaced Roberto Mancini as City boss in June and, despite Mancini’s success, Santa Cruz ultimately believes the choice was a wise one.
“It’s a tough call because I think Mancini was successful and brought the club forward two steps, in terms of winning trophies,” said Santa Cruz.
“It is tough to sack him after his success and I think the fans realise that he deserved to continue.
“But the club keeps moving forward and has high expecations.
“They are obviously chasing the Champions League next and there are few managers in the market that can deliver that.”
Santa Cruz believes that the Chilean manager is one of the elite group of manager’s who can achieve European glory and praised the coach’s calm nature.
“Pellegrini deserves the chance to win titles and be successful,” he said.
“He has great qualities when it comes to managing so many stars, a high-profile dressing room.
“The way that he is as a person – relaxed and calm – will make players feel important and part of the City project.
“He is good with squad rotation and a guy who can put everyone on the same ship.”
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