Newcastle cult hero Jonas Gutierrez takes first job in management nearly a decade after beating cancer
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Newcastle United icon Jonas Gutierrez has taken his first steps into football management this week, and it's a match made in heaven.
The 40-year-old former Argentina international, best known for his seven-year spell at St James' Park between 2008 and 2015, enjoyed a 20-year playing career with Mallorca, Deportivo and Independiente.
His final spell was at Primera B Nacional side Club Almagro in his home city of Buenos Aires.
And on Wednesday, it was confirmed that he would take over as the manager of boyhood team Club Almagro, who currently play in the second tier of club football in Argentina.
He will have a job on his hands after the club narrowly avoided relegation after finishing 17th with a record of 37 points from 36 matches.
But if anybody can do it, it's Gutierrez.
¡𝗘𝗹 𝗚𝗮𝗹𝗴𝗼 𝗱𝗲 𝘃𝘂𝗲𝗹𝘁𝗮 𝗲𝗻 𝗰𝗮𝘀𝗮! 🤩 🇪🇪— ClubAlmagro1911 (@almagroficial) November 15, 2023
🤝🏼 Jonás Gutiérrez, nuevo manager del Club Almagro.
¡𝘉𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘥𝘰 𝘑𝘰𝘯𝘢́𝘴! 👋🏼 pic.twitter.com/C50DoRFsXB
The former Banfield winger memorably helped save Newcastle from relegation in 2015 after he beat the biggest battle of his life to date.
In September 2014, Gutierrez revealed that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. “When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears,” he told Argentine TV show TyC Sports.
“In May 2013, I felt very tough pains on my testicle. After some wrong diagnosis, an ultrasound detected the tumour.
“I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is my health. I had to start chemotherapy.”
After overcoming the disease, he made an emotional return to action when he came on as a substitute against Manchester United in March 2015.
And two months later, he scored that memorable goal against West Ham as Newcastle escaped relegation on the final day of the season.
8 years ago today, Jonas Gutierrez scored against West Ham on the final day of the season to secure Premier League survival for the club after overcoming testicular cancer. What a moment 🙌🖤 @elgalgojonas #NUFC— ToonArmy (@toonarmy_com) May 24, 2023
“I will always be grateful to the Newcastle fans for the way they supported me throughout the problems I faced, and for all of the outpourings of affection I have received,” Gutierrez told The Chronicle in 2018.
“I believe the fundamental step [for me to succeed in England] was to first go abroad and play in the Spanish league. It would have been a completely different experience if I had moved from Argentina straight to England.
“I feel nostalgic. What I felt playing in England, I have never experienced playing anywhere else.
“I believe also that my way of playing was something that the Newcastle fans liked very much. They knew that when I was playing, I would always give 100 per cent.”