Marcelo Gallardo leaves River Plate after eight years in charge: Possible replacements

marcelo gallardo

Marcelo Gallardo became an institution at River Plate winning in the process two Copa Libertadores, one of them by defeating Boca Juniors in an epic final. Here are some of the rumored replacements for the man who came to be known as Napoleon.

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

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

In addition to the titles, Gallardo built the foundations of professionalism, team mentality, 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’d step down from River Plate at the end of the current season, important pundits, and media sources like Diario Ole have already reported who might be on River Plate’s shortlist.

The first major name is Pablo Aimar, currently an assistant on the Argentine national team. Like Gallardo Aimar was an elegant midfielder and an exceptional professional, his results with the Argentine youth sides have been positive and he could be swayed to leave the Argentine side for this once in a lifetime chance.

Former River Plate and Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis is also on the list as well. Demichelis is currently working with Bayern Munich’s youth side and has expressed interest in returning to coach River Plate.

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

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