Why was Marcelo Gallardo chosen to coach Riyadh All-Star XI vs PSG?

marcelo gallardo

The Argentine manager of River Plate fame was “a last minute” addition to the match to coach the All-Star squad.

Marcel Gallardo’s presence in the friendly match between Riyadh All-Star XI and PSG was unexpected. The game was originally scheduled to take place a year ago but was moved to the following season due to scheduling conflicts, and while all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, the presence of the former Nacional of Uruguay and River Plate manager is an unexpected bonus.

Gallardo replaced Arsène Wenger as manager of the game and was announced by Turki Al Sheikh, Minister and current Chairman of the General Authority of Entertainment in Saudi Arabia. Gallardo was also a PSG player in 2006/2007 before his move to DC United of MLS.

Gallardo will be coached by former player Gonzalo ‘Pita’ Martinez and will also have Brazilians Luiz Gustavo, Talisco and Matheus Pereira, Peruvian André Carrillo and Mali’s Moussa Marega under his command. Here is a brief overview of Marcel Gallardo’s career.

Who is Marcelo Gallardo?

Marcelo Gallardo was a creative midfielder who played for River Plate in Argentina, Monaco and PSG in France, DC United in MLS, and later ended his career at Nacional of Uruguay. Gallardo had a decorated career scoring 102 goals in 494 games and winning at least one title for every team he ever played for.

Gallardo was also capped 44 times for Argentina playing in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup’s for the Albiceleste.

Marcelo Gallardo at PSG (Getty Images)
Marcelo Gallardo at PSG (Getty Images)

After he retired in 2010, Gallardo took up coaching winning a Uruguayan championship with Nacional in his first ever coaching experience. After learning his trade for two years he took the job as manager of River Plate, where Gallardo would become the most decorated manager in the club’s history.

Gallardo won a total of 14 titles from 2014 – 2022, winning two Copa Libertadores, one of them beating archrivals Boca Juniors in the final. Gallardo’s playing styles have altered over the years, showing his ability to adapt to his squad, from a quick counter attacking style to a more passing based game. Gallardo has a career 54% winning percentage and has recorded an admirable 251-94-118 record.