Marcelo Gallardo

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Marcelo Gallardo
Palestino - River Plate 20190424 32.jpg
Gallardo in 2019
Personal information
Full name Marcelo Daniel Gallardo
Date of birth (1976-01-18) 18 January 1976 (age 44)
Place of birth Merlo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Playing position(s) Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
River Plate (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1999 River Plate 109 (18)
1999–2003 Monaco 103 (18)
2003–2006 River Plate 77 (25)
2007–2008 Paris Saint-Germain 22 (2)
2008–2009 D.C. United 15 (4)
2009–2010 River Plate 28 (7)
2010–2011 Nacional 13 (3)
Total 367 (77)
National team
1994–2003 Argentina 44 (13)
Teams managed
2011–2012 Nacional
2014– River Plate
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Marcelo Daniel Gallardo (American Spanish: [maɾˈselo ɣaˈʝaɾðo];[a] born 21 January 1976) is an Argentine former footballer and current manager of River Plate.[1]

He played as an attacking midfielder in the role of playmaker and represented Argentina in two FIFA World Cups. He is the most successful coach in River Plate's history.

Club career[edit]

Marcelo Gallardo in 1993.

Early years[edit]

Nicknamed El Muñeco,[2] Spanish for "the doll", Gallardo started his football career back in the 1992–93 season with River Plate and won four Argentinian Torneo de Apertura (1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997), one Argentinian Torneo de Clausura (1997) and one Copa Libertadores (1996).

His initial spell with los millonarios lasted until the 1998–99 season; by then he had played 109 league games for them and scored 18 goals.


In 1999, Gallardo was snapped up by Monaco. In his first season in Europe, Gallardo proved his worth and played 28 games, scoring eight goals, partnering with Ludovic Giuly in midfield.

In the following season, Gallardo won his first Première Division and Trophée Des Champions with Monaco. As a team containing many big-name players such as Marco Simone, Fabien Barthez, Willy Sagnol, Martin Djetou, Pablo Contreras, Ludovic Giuly, Philippe Christanval, Rafael Márquez, Sabri Lamouchi, David Trezeguet, and John Arne Riise, Monaco enjoyed their success domestically and it was evident Gallardo was one of the star players, having won the French League Footballer of the Year that year.

In his third season, Gallardo endured tensions with his coach Didier Deschamps[1] after being named on the bench midway through the 2000–01 season. Following the examples of Panucci and Simone, Gallardo decided to leave Monaco at the end of the season.

Back to Argentina[edit]

After making 102 appearances and scoring 18 goals for Monaco, Gallardo returned to his old club River Plate as club captain, he helped them win another Clausura in 2004.

Back to France[edit]

Marcello Gallardo was bought by the Parisian club PSG for an undisclosed fee in January 2007. Paris Saint-Germain signed a two-year contract with Marcelo and made his debut in a 3–0 cup win against Nîmes on 7 January.

On 13 January 2007, he played his first Ligue 1 match for PSG against Valenciennes.[3]

After spending only one season with the club, Gallardo terminated his contract, looking to move to Major League Soccer in the United States.[4]

Major League Soccer with D.C. United[edit]

On 29 January 2008, Gallardo was presented as the newest member of D.C. United. With a 2008 salary of $1.87 million, Gallardo was the highest-paid player in United history and was its first Designated Player. Gallardo had the third-largest salary in MLS for 2008, behind English midfielder David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy ($6.5 million guaranteed) and Mexican forward Cuauhtémoc Blanco of the Chicago Fire ($2.67 million).[5] He scored his first league goal for United on 5 April 2008 against Toronto FC. On 17 and 19 July Gallardo underwent surgery for a sports hernia, which ruled him out for most of the 2008 MLS season. In February 2009 he left D.C. United and returned for the third time to his old club River Plate.[6]


In 2010, he signed at Nacional de Montevideo in the Uruguayan league. On 12 June 2011, Gallardo played his last match to win the Uruguayan tournament, making him one of the few players to win a championship or league in every team that he played. He retired as a player, and was hired a few days later as new manager of Nacional, his first job as a football manager.

International career[edit]

Gallardo made his international debut for Argentina in 1994 against Chile and made 44 appearances and scored 13 goals.

He was a member of the squad that won a gold medal at the 1995 Pan American Games, and that finished second in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup, and at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He was also in the Argentina squads for the 1995 and 1997 editions of the Copa América, as well as the 1998 and 2002 editions of the FIFA World Cup.



He won the 2011–2012 championship and left the club. He was assisted by Matías Biscay, Pablo Rodríguez and professor Marcelo Tulbovitz during his time at Nacional Montevideo.

River Plate[edit]

On 6 June 2014, Gallardo was presented as the new manager of River Plate following the controversial resignation of Ramón Díaz on 27 May.[7] Key players from the previous tournament, Carlos Carbonero, Manuel Lanzini, and Cristian Ledesma left the club, while players relegated by Ramón Díaz such as Carlos Sánchez and Rodrigo Mora returned. River Plate only bought two players: an attacking midfielder, Leonardo Pisculichi (who had been relegated to second division with Argentinos Juniors) and goalkeeper Julio Chiarini (from Instituto de Córdoba).

Gallardo's style of play was widely lauded by the Argentine press, with the team matching the club's all-time unbeaten record on 9 November with 32 undefeated games, losing to Estudiantes de La Plata three days later.[8] Out of the 32 games, 8 belonged to Ramón Díaz's tenure. River Plate led the Torneo de Transición for the better part, until Gallardo's team reached the Copa Sudamericana's semi-finals, where River would face rivals Boca Juniors. Planning to rest the players for the semi-finals, Gallardo played a substitute team against second-placed Racing Club, ultimately losing the match from an own goal by Ramiro Funes Mori.[9] Racing would go on to win its first championship since 2001 by two points over River Plate.

River eliminated Boca with a lone goal from Leonardo Pisculichi in the second leg played at the Monumental.[10] In the 2014 Copa Sudamericana Finals, Pisculichi scored once again to draw 1–1 against Atlético Nacional in the away leg at the Estadio Atanasio Girardot. Defenders Gabriel Mercado and Germán Pezzella, in the span of four minutes, scored with headers in the second leg at the Monumental, giving River Plate a 2–0 win and its first international title since 1997, remaining unbeaten in the competition. Marcelo Gallardo became the first River Plate player to win an international title both as a player and a coach.[11] Following the end of the game, Gallardo dedicated the win to his mother, who had died shortly before the second game against Boca Juniors.

In early 2015, Gallardo's River won the 2015 Recopa Sudamericana against 2014 Copa Libertadores champions San Lorenzo de Almagro, by beating them 1–0 at home in the first leg, then once again 1–0 in the second leg, both goals scored by Carlos Sánchez.

After a deficient group stage that nearly got the team out of the tournament, Gallardo's River advanced to the 2015 Copa Libertadores Round of 16 as the worst second-placed team from the group stage, having to once again face rivals Boca Juniors, the best first-placed team. River won the first leg at home 1–0 with a penalty kick from Carlos Sánchez. In the second leg played at La Bombonera, the teams had completed the first half drawing 0–0. Upon returning to the pitch to play the second half, River Plate's players were attacked by Boca Juniors' fans. After an hour of recess, the match was suspended by a CONMEBOL official representative. Days later, the organization ruled to disqualify Boca Juniors, which resulted in River advancing to the tournament's quarter-finals.

Later on, the team reached the Libertadores final and played against Mexico's Tigres UANL. In the first leg at the Estadio Universitario, the game turned out scoreless. In the second leg played at the Monumental, River won 3–0 with goals from Lucas Alario, Carlos Sánchez and Ramiro Funes Mori.

The very next day, Gallardo's team travelled to Osaka, Japan, to play the 2015 Suruga Bank Championship against 2014 J.League Cup winners Gamba Osaka. The match resulted in a 3–0 victory for River Plate, with the team earning the 4th official international title under Gallardo's tenure.

Later that year, during a series of poor results at the 2015 Argentine Primera División tournament, River advanced to the semi-finals of the 2015 Copa Sudamericana to play against fellow Argentines Club Atlético Huracán. The two legged series resulted in a 1–0 loss for River in the first leg played at home, then a 2–2 draw in the second leg. This would mark Gallardo's first defeat at an international knockout stage as a coach.

At the year's end, River played the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup, beating Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1–0 in the semi-finals with a goal from Lucas Alario. They would later lose the final against European champions Fútbol Club Barcelona by 3–0, with goals from Messi and Suárez (x2).

River Plate participated again in the 2016 Copa Libertadores as the defending champions. After advancing to the Round of 16, the team was eliminated by Independiente del Valle, who would later finish the tournament as runners-up.

In mid 2016, Gallardo's River won the 2016 Recopa Sudamericana against 2015 Copa Sudamericana champions Independiente Santa Fe, by beating them 2–1 at home in the second leg after a scoreless first leg, adding yet another international title to his tenure as the team's coach.

In December 2016, Gallardo led River to win the 2015–16 Copa Argentina.[12] This marked Gallardo's first domestic cup as manager. By winning the competition, River Plate won the right to play in the 2017 Copa Libertadores and the 2016 Supercopa Argentina against 2016 Primera División champion Lanús, where it suffered a 3–0 defeat.

River advanced to the semi-finals of the 2017 Copa Libertadores against Lanús. After winning the first leg 1–0 at the Monumental Stadium, the team ended up losing the second leg match at Estadio Ciudad de Lanús by 4–2, with Lanus coming back after being 2-0 down. River lost the semi-finals with a global result of 4–3. Days later, Gallardo led River to win their second consecutive Copa Argentina. River won the 2016-17 edition after beating Atlético Tucumán in the final by 2–1 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza. This title gave River the right to play the 2017 Supercopa Argentina against 2016–17 Argentine Primera División champions Boca Juniors.

Gallardo's River started the year 2018 with a streak of poor results. This came to an end on March 14 of 2018 when River won the 2017 Supercopa Argentina once again beating archrivals Boca Juniors by 2–0 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas with goals by Gonzalo "Pity" Martínez and Ignacio Scocco, who was subbed in by Gallardo during the second half. This is Gallardo's third national title with River Plate.

At the end of 2018, River Plate once more beat their historic rivals Boca Juniors in the 2018 Copa Libertadores Finals. It was the first time two Argentine teams faced each other in a Libertadores final and the last final of the competition played with a two-legged home and away format, in spite of the second match being played at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium due to River fans attacking Boca Juniors' players at the surroundings of the Monumental Stadium on the day the second leg match was supposed to be played at first. River and Boca drew the first match 2–2 at La Bombonera with goals by Lucas Pratto and Carlos Izquierdoz (own goal). The second match at the Bernabéu ended with a 1–1 draw, with Pratto once again scoring the goal for River and thus went into extra time. River ended up winning 3–1 with goals by Juan Fernando Quintero and Gonzalo "Pity" Martínez.

After winning 2019 Recopa Sudamericana, Marcelo Gallardo became the most successful River Plate coach in history with ten titles, surpassing Ramón Díaz's nine official titles. He's also the most successful coach at the international stage in the club's history, with a total of seven international titles won (2 Copa Libertadores 2015 & 2018, 1 Copa Sudamericana 2014, 3 Recopa Sudamericana 2015, 2016 & 2019 and 1 Suruga Bank Championship 2015). The fact that in his tenure he has achieved more international honours than the club had gotten in its whole history before him, adding to the successive victories over arch rivals Boca Juniors, has led the press and fans alike to consider Gallardo as the greatest coach in River Plate's history.[13][14]

Playing style[edit]

Throughout his career, Gallardo tended to play in a central or attacking midfield role as an advanced playmaker. A skillful player, who possessed an intelligent footballing brain, he was highly regarded for his vision, technique, class, dribbling skills, and ability to take on and beat opponents in one on one situations, although he was best known for his defence splitting passes.[6][15][16] He was also well known for his accuracy from direct free kicks and his ball delivery from corners and set-pieces. His playing style saw him compared to Diego Maradona in his youth.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Gallardo has four sons, one of which is River Plate's footballer Nahuel Gallardo.[18][19] At his youth he claimed he was a San Lorenzo de Almagro fan.

Career statistics[edit]



Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
River Plate 1992–93 Primera División 4 0 1 0 5 0
1993–94 4 0 4 0 8 0
1994–95 23 3 10 2 33 5
1995–96 21 5 12 1 33 6
1996–97 24 4 3 1 27 5
1997–98 19 5 12 3 31 8
1998–99 14 1 11 2 25 3
Total 109 18 4 0 49 9 162 27
Monaco 1999–2000 Ligue 1 28 8 1 0 7 0 36 8
2000–01 26 6 3 2 1 0 3 0 1 0 34 8
2001–02 22 3 5 2 27 5
2002–03 27 1 3 1 30 2
Total 103 18 12 5 1 0 10 0 1 0 127 23
River Plate 2003–04 Primera División 15 4 11 3 26 7
2004–05 25 6 10 3 35 9
2005–06 23 11 11 3 34 14
2006–07 14 4 1 1 15 5
Total 77 25 33 10 110 35
Paris Saint-Germain 2006–07 Ligue 1 13 2 3 0 3 0 19 2
2007–08 9 0 3 0 12 0
Total 22 2 3 0 6 0 31 2
D.C. United 2008 MLS 15 4 1 0 16 4
Total 15 4 1 0 16 4
River Plate 2008–09 Primera División 10 3 4 1 14 4
2009–10 18 4 1 0 19 4
Total 28 7 5 1 33 8
Nacional 2010–11 Primera División 13 3 2 0 15 3
Total 13 3 2 0 15 3
Career total 367 77 20 5 1 0 105 20 1 0 494 102



Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
1994 2 0
1995 11 5
1996 0 0
1997 8 5
1998 9 0
1999 4 0
2000 2 1
2001 5 2
2002 1 0
2003 2 0
Total 44 13

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Argentina's goal tally first. Score column indicates score after each Gallardo goal.[21]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 14 February 1995 Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina  Bulgaria 1–0 4–1 Friendly
2. 2–0
3. 13 May 1995 Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa  South Africa 1–1 1–1
4. 21 June 1995 Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina  Slovakia 1–0 6–0
5. 4–0
6. 14 June 1997 Estadio Félix Capriles, Cochabamba, Bolivia  Chile 2–0 2–0 1997 Copa América
7. 17 June 1997 Estadio Félix Capriles, Cochabamba, Bolivia  Paraguay 1–1 1–1
8. 21 June 1997 Estadio Olímpico Patria, Sucre, Bolivia  Peru 1–2 1–2
9. 6 July 1997 Estadio Defensores del Chaco, Asunción, Paraguay  Paraguay 1–0 2–1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 10 September 1997 Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile  Chile 1–0 2–1
11. 8 October 2000 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Uruguay 1–0 2–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
12. 28 March 2001 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Venezuela 4–0 5–0
13. 5 September 2001 Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires, Argentina  Brazil 1–1 2–1

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 1 December 2020[20][22]
Team From To Record
M W D L GF GA GD Win %
Nacional 29 June 2011 19 June 2012 39 23 7 9 74 41 +33 058.97
River Plate 30 May 2014 Present 305 161 84 60 522 267 +255 052.79
Total 344 184 91 69 596 308 +288 053.49




River Plate
Paris Saint-Germain
D.C. United




River Plate



  1. ^ In isolation, Gallardo is pronounced [ɡaˈʝaɾðo].


  1. ^ «Gallardo es el técnico Archived 3 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine»
  2. ^ Aritz Gabilondo (9 December 2018). "El Muñeco Gallardo ya es leyenda". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Tactical Formation". Retrieved 5 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Gallardo Leaning Towards MLS". Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  5. ^ Goff, Steven (4 April 2008). "Gallardo Is United's Highest-Paid Player Ever". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Gallardo era comes to an end in D.C." 23 January 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Marcelo Gallardo presentado como nuevo técnico de River Plate" [Marcelo Gallardo presented as new manager of River Plate] (in Spanish). La Nación. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Por un error de Barovero, River perdió el invicto ante Estudiantes" [Due a mistake from Barovero, River lost the undefeated record against Estudiantes] (in Spanish). infobae. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Racing le ganó a River con una 'carambola', se subió a la punta del campeonato y podría consagrarse campeón el próximo domingo en Rosario" [Racing defeated River with a lucky goal, got in first place and could be crowned champion of the tournament the next Sunday in Rosario] (in Spanish). infobae. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  10. ^ "¡River a la final! El gol de Pisculichi le dio la clasificación frente a Boca, que falló un penal y jamás pudo encontrarle la vuelta al partido" [River to the final! Pisculichi's goal gave River the ticket to the final against Boca, which missed a penalty in the first minutes of the game and could never turn it around] (in Spanish). infobae. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. ^ "¡River campeón de la Copa Sudamericana!" [River champion of the Copa Sudamericana!] (in Spanish). mundoD. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "D'Onofrio: "Gallardo es el mejor de la historia y va a continuar con nosotros"" [D'Onofrio: "Gallardo is the best of all time and he will continue with us"] (in Spanish). TyC Sports. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  14. ^ "El 'Virrey' Gallardo, el mejor de la historia" [The 'Viceroy' Gallardo, the best of all time] (in Spanish). El Ciudadano. 11 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Gallardo n'a pas oublié" (in French). Eurosport. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  16. ^ "The Next Maradonas: Grading 10 of Diego's footballing reincarnations". 18 January 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  17. ^ Hughes, Stan (9 March 2009). "Maradona". Footy Factor. Retrieved 28 December 2012. Ariel Ortega, Marcelo Gallardo, Juan Roman Riquelme, Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi, the list goes on and on. All have been touted as the 'new Maradona' but none have lived up to the unique style and success that Diego Armando Maradona enjoyed during his 20-year playing career.
  18. ^ "La violenta patada del hijo de Marcelo Gallardo, que le valió la expulsión en el Superclásico de Reserva". Infobae. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Nahuel Gallardo, el hijo del entrenador de River que para su papá es un jugador más". Goal. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Marcelo Gallardo". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Argentina". 11v11. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  22. ^ Marcelo Gallardo coach profile at Soccerway

External links[edit]