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Marcelo Gallardo leaves River Plate after eight years at the helm: possible replacements

Marcelo Gallardo has become an institution at River Plate winning two Copa Libertadores in the process, one of which by beating Boca Juniors in an epic final. Here are some of the rumored replacements for the man known as Napoleon.

Eight years ago, River Plate was struggling to get back on its feet in Argentina. Despite winning the championship with legendary manager Ramon Diaz, River was miles away from its place among Argentina’s top teams. Committed to the task of bringing the river back to its roots, Marcelo Gallardo delivered in spades.

Between 2014 and 2022, Gallardo won an unprecedented 14 league titles with the club where he made his debut as a player in 1993. Among those 14 titles were countless victories over rivals Boca Juniors, none of them more than their defeat at the 2018 Copa Libertadores. Gallardo, considered by many to be one of the most influential managers in South American football history, leaves River Plate with a much bigger club than when he founded it.

In addition to titles, Gallardo built the foundations of professionalism, team spirit, training intensity and proper codes of conduct that are often lacking in today’s teams in Argentina. With Gallardo stepping down as River manager, the club must look elsewhere to fill the biggest shoes in River Plate history.

Possible replacements for Marcelo Gallardo at River Plate

Upon Gallardo’s announcement that he will be leaving River Plate at the end of the current season, leading pundits and media sources like Diario Ole have already reported who could be on River Plate’s shortlist.

The first major name is Pablo Aimar, currently an assistant for the Argentine national team. As Gallardo Aimar was an elegant midfielder and an outstanding professional, his results with Argentina’s youth teams were positive and he might be convinced to leave the Argentina team for this once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Former River Plate and Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis is also on the list. Demichelis is currently working with Bayern Munich’s youth team and has expressed interest in returning to coaching at River Plate.

Another stylish former winger Santiago Solari could also step in, unlike Aimar and Demichelis, Solari has already coached at the highest level as an interim coach at Real Madrid and was the first coach of the American team in Mexico.