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Marcelo Gallardo leaves River Plate after eight years in charge: 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.

Marcelo Gallardo
© Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty ImagesMarcelo Gallardo

Eight years ago, River Plate in Argentina was trying to get up. Despite winning a championship with legendary manager Ramon Diaz, River was miles away from its place among Argentina’s top teams. Marcelo Gallardo was hired with the task of bringing River back to its foundations, he delivered in spades.

From 2014 to 2022, Gallardo will win an unprecedented 14 championships with the club he made his debut as a player in 1993. Among those 14 titles were countless victories over rivals Boca Juniors, none greater than to defeat them for the 2018 Copa Libertadores. Considered by many to be one of the most influential managers in the history of South American football, Gallardo leaves River Plate with a much bigger club than when he found it.

Besides titles, Gallardo built a foundation of professionalism, team mentality, training intensity and proper codes of conduct often absent from teams in Argentina these days. With Gallardo ending his run as manager of River, 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.

Other names that might come into play are Ricardo Gareca former Peru national team coach and to a lesser extent alexander medinawho had a bad season at Velez Sarsfield.