Midway through the 2010-11 season, after a string of bad results in the League, Héctor Cúper resigned from his position as Aris manager. Even though the team didn’t perform to expectations in the league, his tenure was not completely unsuccessful, as he managed to qualify from the EL group stages eliminating Atlético Madrid, and achieved certain success in the Cup, finishing as runners-up in the previous season. But his performance in the League had been below par and he felt resigning his position was the way forward for the club.
However, after a few changes in management, results didn’t go as expected, and although the team finished in a comfortable mid-table position, no manager secured the position for the following season. Club president Thanasis Athanasiadis decided to call Cúper and ask him to take the reins once again, but the Argentine declined, as he had already agreed to fill the managerial vacancy at Racing Santander. Cúper did, however, put a name forward: One of his assistants, a 24-year-old coach by the name of Alejandro Perna, whose promising football career had ended at the tender age of 17 after tearing his cruciate ligaments in both knees.
After the doctors told Perna he shouldn’t pursue a career in football, he entered a deep state of depression, but Cúper, who had just signed him at the time, decided to offer him a job as a coach. The youngster took it as his last chance to make a name for himself in the sport he loved, and took his offer with both hands. Seven years later, after becoming his mentor’s most trusted advisor and assistant manager, he was finally a signature away from his first managerial job.