Argentinian successful coach Gallardo returns to work after sabbatical

Marcelo Gallardo becomes the new head coach of Al-Ittihad. The former successful coach of River Plate, who was recently mentioned as a possible candidate for Ajax, is currently en route from his home country Argentina to Saudi Arabia.

Argentinian successful coach Gallardo returns to work after sabbatical Embed from Getty Images

The 47-year-old Gallardo was interviewed at the airport by Argentine journalists. There, he confirmed his move to Al-Ittihad, the Saudi club of Karim Benzema. 

The former Ballon d'Or holder reportedly played a significant role in the departure of Nuno Espírito Santos, the Portuguese coach who was relieved of his duties ten days ago.

Gallardo is set to succeed Nuno. 'They motivated me with a big project in a new, interesting league,' said the Argentine, who left River Plate in December and deliberately took a sabbatical. Now, he is fully motivated to get back to work.

Al-Ittihad is the reigning champion in Saudi Arabia but is currently in a disappointing fifth place. Next month, Gallardo's new team will participate in the Club World Cup, held in Saudi Arabia. During the tournament, Al-Ittihad represents the host country and faces Auckland City, the champion of Oceania, in the first round on December 12.

Updated: 08:30, 18 Nov 2023

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