Rivalry? You’re having a laugh. Manchester derby games will be a stroll in the park compared to the infamous clashes in Argentina between River Plate and Boca Juniors.
Pellegrini managed River and their “Superclasico” wars with Boca left the normally laid-back, ice-cool Chilean’s blood boiling.
Pellegrini joked the defeated coach was virtually a prisoner in his own home for “at least a week”.
Hundreds of furious fans would blockade the River Plate training ground and he would not feel it was safe to drive away until at least three hours after the session had finished.
There are endless fights between the two sets of supporters with Boca fans referring to their River Plate opponents as “chickens”. And the River Plate followers call the Boca boys “little pigs”.
Pellegrini said: “It’s very different. In Argentina, River Plate and Boca is crazy rivalry. Not only on the pitch during the 90 minutes.
“It’s the whole week. The whole month. The whole year. Of course, we have an important rivalry with Manchester United and we will do our best to beat them.
“But here it is an easier rivalry than at River Plate. Once you have managed in a River-Boca match, you can manage anywhere in the world because of the pressure.
“A coach who has worked in Argentina can work in any part of the world.
“If you lose the Superclasico you can’t go out of your home for at least a week. You have to hide. It’s very difficult to go out of the stadium the same day. And you must stay in the training ground at least two or three hours after a session has finished. So I’m not concerned about the pressure here at City.
“I have had a lot of pressure everywhere. I’m used to being under pressure.
“The pressure I had at Real Madrid is about the same as at Manchester City. I definitely think Argentina is the worst.”
Again there was the customary smile as Pellegrini said: “I think what Ferran said was that we need to try to win all – but I’m not under pressure if I don’t win five trophies that I will not be safe here.
“It’s not a problem. We will try to win the trophies and we are sure we have the squad to do it.
“We will do our best to do that. I am absolutely sure that with the squad we have at City, we can win trophies. It’s a big motivation for me. And it’s very motivational to win a trophy here in Europe. Important trophies.”
City failed miserably in the Champions League for two years running under Roberto Mancini so the big question asked of Pellegrini was did he believe he could win Europe’s top prize during his reign.
And the Etihad coach said: “I’m absolutely sure about that. I will try to win it. It is very important that my team has a winning mentality first of all.
“Always thinking and playing like a big team. I’m not comparing with Roberto Mancini or with Mark Hughes or with any other coach who has worked here before me.“I am here because Ferran and Txiki Begiristain know of what I did in Spain over the past nine years”Manuel Pellegrini
“But I’m just telling you what I think about the clubs that I want to manage.
“The winning mentality is very important.
“Trying to always play in the opposition’s half. Not just to score a goal and then come back to counter-attack.
“We will try to score another goal and to play always the same.
“I am here because Ferran and Txiki Begiristain know of what I did in Spain over the past nine years.
“It is very important for me to arrive at City. I’m not the fashionable coach who won the last title last year.
“It’s more important that I’m here at Manchester City for the work I did over the last years in Spain and South America. And also for the way that my teams play.”