Prior to taking up his role with our EDS squad this summer, Maresca had spent two years working with Pellegrini as part of the Chilean’s coaching team during his spell in charge at West Ham.
But, as Maresca recalls, it was his during his time as a player at Malaga between 2011 and 2012, where Pellegrini enjoyed great success as manager, that the Chilean - who managed City from 2013 until 2016 - first sowed the seeds of his own coaching career.
“I’ve always said that in terms of experience about football Manuel is, for me, like a father,” Maresca revealed.
“Also, Manuel was both the coach and the person who convinced me to try be a coach myself when I finished playing.
“I was still working as a player with him at Malaga and one day, during a chat with him, he said to me: ‘You have to try to become a coach because I think you think you can become a good coach.’
“It was just a chat but from that day onwards I started to think that maybe I did have a future as a coach and that’s how it started.
“If ever I had some doubt, he always helped me - both as a player and in the last two years as a coach at West Ham.
“I had and have a tremendous relationship with him.”
Maresca’s arrival at the Spanish side midway through the 2011/12 campaign co-incided with a dramatic upturn in Malaga’s fortunes.
From facing the threat of relegation when he joined, inside 18 months the Club’s fortunes were totally transformed as they secured a Champions League berth for the first time in their history.
And it was an experience that left an indelible mark on the Italian.
“When I joined Malaga in 2011 that was the first time I worked with Manuel,” Maresca reflected.
“It was a very good experience as for the first time in the Club’s history Malaga reached a Champions League spot.
“When I arrived there at the start of 2011 the Club was last in the table in January and in that first season we finished in the middle of the table.
“Then, the season after (2011/12), we finished fourth to seal a Champions League spot.
“It was a great experience also for the chance to work with Manuel.
“As a coach for the way he worked with players and managed situations it was, for me, one of the best experiences.”