Ricardo La Volpe
La Volpe in 2008
|Full name||Ricardo Antonio La Volpe Guarchoni|
|Date of birth||6 February 1952|
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Ricardo Antonio La Volpe Guarchoni, (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈrikaɾðo la ˈβolpe]; born 6 February 1952) is a former Argentine footballer and manager. He is a World Cup-winning goalkeeper who played for most of his career in Argentina and Mexico.
As a coach, La Volpe was in charge of both the Mexico and Costa Rica national teams, coaching the former at the 2006 World Cup. As a club manager, he won the league title in the 1992–93 season with Atlante.
Ricardo La Volpe began his career as a coach in the Mexican league in 1989, managing several teams such as Oaxtepec, Puebla, Atlante, Guadalajara, Querétaro, América, Atlas, Toluca, and Monterrey. Despite mixed results, La Volpe earned a reputation for his offensive-style of football. He led Atlante to the 1992–1993 season championship and reached the league final with Atlas in 1999.
Mexico national team
In 2002 La Volpe was named coach of the Mexico national team. He led the team to win the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualified for the 2006 World Cup, as well finishing in fourth place at the 2005 Confederations Cup, most notably defeating eventual champions Brazil in the group stage. With La Volpe at the helm, Mexico reached fourth place in the FIFA World rankings.
Also under his leadership at the 2004 Copa América, Mexico managed to defeat Argentina for the first time in years, but lost to Brazil in the quarterfinals. Mexico also lost at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals to Colombia. Mexico was also eliminated at the 2004 Olympic Games after losing to South Korea in the group stage.
At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Mexico finished second in their group, qualifying to the Round of 16 before going out 1–2 in extra time to Argentina. The Guardian named him Best Coach of the World Cup for his attitude.
After leaving the Mexico national team, he met with Boca Juniors officials on 24 July 2006. After several weeks of negotiation, it was agreed on 22 August that La Volpe would take over as Boca manager on 15 September, replacing Alfio Basile who had been selected to manage the Argentine national team.
La Volpe had a bumpy start with Boca Juniors, including a 3–1 loss against archi-rivals River Plate on 8 October. On 12 October, Boca lost 3–1 to Uruguayan club Nacional on penalty kicks in the Copa Sudamericana, and so were out of the competition. Boca failed three times to claim the Apertura Championship in the final weeks of the season, and then lost a playoff against Estudiantes. Keeping his word that he would quit if he lost, La Volpe resigned after the match. Later that year he became the new Vélez Sársfield manager, but did not stay in the job long. After watching his team suffer bruising defeats by River Plate and Boca Juniors in the Apertura 2007, and his team in 10th place, he resigned as coach.
Return to Mexico
In 2008, Ricardo La Volpe returned to Mexico as manager of Monterrey. After several days of speculation, the decision was finally announced in the club's official website, as the replacement of former manager Isaac Mizrahi. He had a bumpy start, and didn't win until his fifth match. Monterrey finished the season in 8th place and had the league's leading goal scorer, Humberto Suazo. Monterrey's league would end in the semi-finals in which they were eliminated by Santos Laguna after an aggregate score of 3–3 Fans of Monterrey spoke highly of La Volpe for helping the team reach the playoffs again after two dismal seasons of not qualifying including a last place finish during the last tournament. In the Apertura 2008 the team would have a fairly good start, but completely fell apart towards the end of the tournament placing Monterrey in the bottom of the table, hence not qualifying to the playoffs. After the disappointing tournament, the team did not offer the money La Volpe was looking for and he decided to leave the team.
Return to Atlas
On 28 January 2009, La Volpe signed, once again, with Atlas. Fans of the team had been yearning for him to come back to the squad in which many said he had his most success. The tournament was not successful with the team failing to qualify to the playoffs, finishing 13th. On 18 November the Argentine coach quit Atlas due to poor results, and was replaced by Carlos Ischia.
On 9 September 2010, the former Atlas coach became the new manager of Costa Rica, replacing interim coach Rónald González. The Argentine had originally signed until July 2014, however, poor performance during the 2011 Gold Cup and 2011 Copa América, ended his contract prematurely on 11 August 2011.
La Volpe was named Guadalajara manager after a 4–0 loss against América with just four games to go in the tournament. After a win against Pachuca on his debut, he finished the league with a draw and 2 losses. However, on 30 April 2014, La Volpe was fired by Vergara after an accusation by a female staff member of improper behavior by La Volpe on her and Vergara announced that there was a lawsuit against La Volpe for that matter.
Following the sacking of Club América's manager Ignacio Ambríz, La Volpe was announced as manager on 22 September 2016. He won his first game in charge two days later, defeating Universidad Nacional 2–1. He led América towards a strong final stretch at the end of 2016, culminating with a fourth place finish at the FIFA Club World Cup and finishing runners-up in the Apertura championship match against Tigres UANL.
Although contributing by debuting major prospects such as Diego Lainez and Edson Álvarez, Lavolpe and America decided to part ways after a lackluster Clausura 2017 where America failed to qualify to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
La Volpe's philosophy, style of play, and attitude is referred to as "Lavolpismo". Coaches who have studied under and continue to use a modified version of his style of play and philosophy are referred to as "Lavolpistas". Notable managers directly influenced by La Volpe include Josep Guardiola, Miguel Herrera, José Guadalupe Cruz, Rubén Omar Romano, Hernan Cristante, Jose Saturnino Cardozo and Sergio Bueno.
During Mexico's first group-stage match in the 2006 World Cup against Iran, La Volpe was seen chain-smoking in the dugout, leading to an official warning from FIFA that he was not allowed to smoke in the competition area. La Volpe responded by telling FIFA's executives that he would "rather give up football than smoking", although he later consented.
He has also had clashes with the press. During a press conference at the 2006 World Cup, La Volpe told a journalist: "¡Fuera de mi cara! Tú no sabes nada. No te rompes mis huevos, idiotas." ["Get out of my face! You know nothing. Don't break my balls, you idiots."]
He has odd superstitions some which include wearing a lucky tie, performing oriental rituals and avoiding shaking the opposing managers hand prior to or after the game.
As a player
As a manager
- In isolation, Volpe is pronounced [ˈbolpe].
- "Best and Wurst". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2006.
- Sale Ricardo Lavolpe del Atlas | Milenio.com
- Elogios a Ischia | Milenio.com
- "La Volpe al mando de la Tricolor". fedefutbol.org. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "Ricardo La Volpe confirmed as new coach of Club America". ESPN FC. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "Ricardo La Volpe era at America starts on right foot with win over Pumas". ESPN FC. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Ricardo La Volpe a safe choice for Club America". Goal.com. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
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