Hernán Cristante – Person and Career of Ex-Goalkeeper Turned Coach

Hernán Cristante

Rolando Hernán Cristante Mandarino popularly known as Hernán Cristante was born on 16th September, 1969 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 5 ft, 11 inches tall athlete was formerly a goalkeeper but is currently a professional Argentine football manager.

Hernán Cristante: Transfer History as a Player

Cristante started his professional football career in 1990 at Argentina with Gimnasia y Esgrima, La Plata. Cristante was transferred to Club Toluca, Mexico, in August 1993, and in 1994, he returned to the Argentine team, Club Atlético Platense. Cristante returned to Club Toluca in 1995 and was there for one year.

In 1996, Cristante joined another Argentine team, Newell’s Old Boys of Rosario. Then he played for Club Atlético Huracán of Argentina in 1997.

By 1998, Cristante had to return to Toluca and played there for a very long time. In 2002, the athlete completed his training to become a professional coach. In 2004, with the aim of developing young soccer talents, Cristante opened the Centro de Formación Deportivo Hernán Cristante (A Sports Training Center).

By 2007, Cristante had played his 500th professional game and is currently the number one foreign player in Mexico for many games played in the Primera División. Cristante had a serious knee injury and was released from Club Toluca in June 2010. In 2011, Cristante moved to Club Universidad de Guadalajara and played for the club till 2013.

Cristante made more than 400 appearances for Toluca as a player.

International Career

In 1989, 1992, and 1995, Hernán Cristante was part of Argentina’s Seleccion Nacional, and was a member of his nation’s squad for the 1995 Copa América. In total, Cristante has made six appearances for the national side.

Hernán Cristante: History as a Manager

Cristante was an Assistant Manager for Veracruz between January 2014 and December 2014. Between February 2015 and May 2015, Cristante was the manager in charge of Tepic.

By May 2016, Cristante was back in Toluca. This time, not as a goalkeeper, rather as a Manager.

In 2018, the season became more challenging when Toluca lost key players like Alexis Vega, Rubens Sambueza, Luis Quinones, and Defender Christian Borja.

In February 2019, the club announced that Cristante was no longer the manager of Toluca. This was after seven consecutive losses. Cristante’s team lost to Sporting Kansas City 3-0 in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 series and dropped a 4-0 in league play to Santos Laguna. The defeat put Toluca in 15th place out of 18 teams in Liga MX with just seven points from 8 matches, and things were not getting any better.

The Director’s Council of the Club decided that Hernán Cristante would leave the team’s coaching job in a press release. The Council thanked him for his work and professionalism and wished him and his coaching staff the best in their future projects.

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The club did have significant success under Cristante during Toluca’s five previous tournaments. For the 2018 Clausura, Cristante’s squad topped the table at the end of the regular season and lost the Liguilla final to Santos. Cristante also led the team to the Semifinals in the 2017 Clausura, with eventual champion Chivas eliminating the team.

Hernán Cristante stayed out of football until his return to Toluca in December 2020, replacing caretaker coach Carlos Adrián Morales, who stepped in after the departure of Jose Manuel de la Torre.

Between 2016 and 2019, Cristante spent 1000 days in his Managerial post. He spent only 364 days at Toluca between December 2020 and November 2021.

Interestingly, Cristante has experience as a Manager only within Mexico.

Honors

Since 1999, Cristante has been nominated four times as the best goalkeeper in Mexico.

On December 4, 2008, Cristante set a record of not conceding a goal for 772 consecutive minutes during a 0–0 draw against Santos Laguna, a record that still stands. For his role as a player, Cristante won five league titles with Toluca and lifted the Concacaf Champions Cup in 2013.

Image source: Daily News Day