Cúper (born November 16 1955 in Chabas, Santa Fe Province,
Argentina) is a former football defender and current coach.
Cúper started playing professionally in 1976 for Ferro Carril
Oeste, club for which he would play most of his career. In 1977
he played for Independiente Rivadavia, but returned to Ferro the
next season. With Ferro he obtained the first division Nacional
1982 and Nacional 1984. He also played for the Argentina
national football team, but didn't participate in the World Cup.
In 1988 he transferred to Club Atlético Huracán, were he played
until his retirement in 1992.
Cúper started his coaching career in Huracán, straight after his
retirement. After three years he moved to Club Atlético Lanús,
and two years later he made the jump to Europe. In 1997 he was
hired by RCD Mallorca, and in the very first season he drove the
modest club to the final of the Copa del Rey, which he would
lose against FC Barcelona. The following season the team reached
the final of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup losing to S.S. Lazio.
However, in the same season the team had its revenge against
Barcelona, winning the Supercopa de España in 1998. That season
also meant the best historical position at the end of the league
with a 3rd place, allowing the team to play in the UEFA
Cúper moved to the Valencia CF in 1999, where he maintained his
bad luck in finals, losing the final of the Champions League two
consecutive times; in 2000 against Real Madrid, and in 2001 with
FC Bayern Munich by penalty kicks.
In 2001 Cúper was hired by Italian Inter Milan, where he reached
the third and second place of the championship in successive
seasons. He was fired from the club after six matches in 2003,
when the team was in the 8th position.
After a year off work, due to a contractual argument with Inter,
Cúper managed Mallorca again during the 2004/05 season, when the
team was already in a relegation position after 10 matches,
saving the team from relegation in the last match of the season.
Suffering bad results in spite of his many signings, Cúper
decided to leave the team in February 2006, with the team in at
the bottom of the division.