Manager “De Moda” – Does His Mobile Boarding Pass Say BCN or MIA?

MIAMI, Fla. (November 5, 2019) —

Marcelo Daniel Gallardo ticks most of the boxes on two teams’ managerial checklists.

Marcelo Gallardo has put together an impressive CV in his six years in South America. Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

He’s one of the front runners to be the first manager of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, he is reportedly a front runner to take the helm of a much larger, more famous club. A club whose tag line is “More Than A Club.” For 43-year-old Club Atlético River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo, whose baby-faced appearance has earned him the nicknamed “El Muñeco – the Doll,” it’s an enviable position to be in no doubt.

Manchester City coach Pep Gallardo thinks very highly of Gallardo.

“Lo que ha hecho Gallardo en River es increíble. A nivel resultados, de darle consistencia, y otro año y otro año. Y se van jugadores pero sigue estando a nivel”.

“What Gallardo has done with River is incredible,” Guardiola told an Argentine TV station. “Some things are inexplicable. Every year three coaches are named as the best in the world, and he’s never among them. I can’t understand it. It’s as if there’s nothing else in the world apart from Europe.”

Recently he has been linked as the successor to Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona. Valverde’s contract is expiring on June 30, 2020 and it’s all but certain he will not be back. It is also certain that Lionel Messi approves of Gallardo as a replacement, having already referred to him as “one of the best.” Leo voted El Muñeco the third best coach in the world at FIFA’s The Best Awards, and that vote surely was heard by the Catalan club’s board. Having Messi’s ‘approval’ would be an important factor in deciding whether to hire a new coach. Another Blaugrana great, Andres Iniesta, who is currently playing for Vissel Kobe in the J-League, said “El trabajo que está haciendo Gallardo es sensacional.” (“The work Gallardo is doing is sensational.”)

What are Gallardo’s credentials that have him to linked to one of the most storied clubs in the world? In short, it’s his combination of youth, experience, a commitment to attacking football and an impressive CV as a player.

Now in his sixth year in charge, he has experienced great success at River; he has won the Copa Libertadores twice, and will have a chance to make that three in this year’s final later this month against Flamengo. Managing a club for six years is extremely rare in South America. Demands and needs change quickly due to the fact that the best players are continuously being sold off, mostly to Europe. As Guardiola pointed out, at River Plate “every year the players leave, but the work continues.”

Compensating for this has given Gallardo a depth of experience beyond his years and certainly beyond the baby-faced appearance that has left him dubbed “El Muñeco – the Doll.”

Gallardo is credited with being proficient at reading the opposition, accurately assessing his own resources and making adjustments to the tactical plan, all without confusing his players. When he first took over at River, he used a 4-4-2 formation, featuring the old-fashioned Argentine diamond — a holder in front of the centre-backs, two mixed midfielders either side and the traditional No. 10, the position Gallardo had played.

On occasions he has even shifted to a back three — the first leg of last year’s Libertadores final against Boca the most notable.

Marcelo Gallardo guided River Plate to the 2018 Copa Libertadores title over Boca Juniors. Denis Doyle/Getty Images

He was a top-class attacking midfielder in his playing days, subtle and skillful, with over 40 caps and two World Cups for Argentina to his credit. His playing career is mostly associated with River Plate, but he also played in Ligue Un (France) with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco. He also played in MLS and at Nacional de Montivideo. where he ended his playing days and promptly started coaching the side, taking them to the Uruguayan league title.

Gallardo played in two World Cups: France1998 and Korea-Japan 2002

The next test will be the Copa Libertadores final, now a one game final. It should be a tough challenge, as Flamengo is an attacking team under Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus.

If River prevail they will once again head to the FIFA Club World Cup — the one tournament where Gallardo has always come up short. In 2015, his side scraped by with a 1-0 semifinal win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima of Japan, before being overwhelmed in the final against Barcelona, 3-0. Last year, River did not even make the final, falling on penalties to Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates.

Regardless of the Club World Cup, a tournament that is not widely followed, Gallardo is the “in-demand” coach of the moment. Spanish press call him “El director técnico de moda.”

Both Barcelona and Miami have maintained contact with people connected to Gallardo, according to Argentinean publications. It was also reported that Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough had been to Argentina during the past few months. Gallardo has been very smart, with indications that he will not sit down and talk about a possible exit until after River’s last game this year. That would be in December when the Argentina Superliga season ends.

For Miami, hiring an Argentine coach makes sense, seeing that the first two players the club signed are both from Argentina, making for an instant cultural connection for two promising players. It is also a strategy that worked well for Inter Miami McDonough when he was with Atlanta United. It was clear from early on indicated that the Five Stripes were going be very ambitious by building top-of-the-line training grounds, spending significant sums in MLS terms to acquire players and hiring an internationally well-known coach in Tata Martino, who had once led FC Barcelona and the Argentinian national team.

Inter Miami CF is overdue for announcing its head coach. Managing owner Jorge Mas previously said he was expecting to have a coach named by the end of summer, then changed it to the end of September, and later changed to the end of October. That date has now come and gone. As each day passes without a coach being named, the most plausible explanation I can think of is that the head coach is someone who is still busy. Marcelo Gallardo clearly fits that description. What else would explain the hold up?

I’ve written before about the shortlist of top coaching candidates for the new club. While only those inside the negotiations can say for sure (which obviously they won’t), if the first head coach was going to be Santiago Solari or Gennaro Gattuso, or any other manager not currently employed, it’s hard to understand why that person is not already in Miami helping to plan for the inaugural season.

Photo: DobleAmarilla.com

The Copa Libertadores Final is November 23. If that mobile boarding pass says ‘MIA’ we can expect a coaching announcement at the end of this month.

Read more | Relacionado

A Coach In Demand: Gallardo Could End Up At Barcelona … Or Will He Be In Miami?

MIAMI, Fla. (November 1, 2019) —

Marcelo Daniel Gallardo ticks most of the boxes on two teams’ managerial checklists.

Marcelo Gallardo has put together an impressive CV in his six years in South America. Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

He’s one of the front runners to be the first manager of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, he is reportedly a front runner to take the helm of a much larger, more famous club. A club whose tag line is “More Than A Club.” For 43-year-old Club Atlético River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo, whose baby-faced appearance has earned him the nicknamed “El Muñeco – the Doll,” it’s an enviable position to be in no doubt.

Manchester City coach Pep Gallardo thinks very highly of Gallardo.

“Lo que ha hecho Gallardo en River es increíble. A nivel resultados, de darle consistencia, y otro año y otro año. Y se van jugadores pero sigue estando a nivel”.

“What Gallardo has done with River is incredible,” Guardiola told an Argentine TV station. “Some things are inexplicable. Every year three coaches are named as the best in the world, and he’s never among them. I can’t understand it. It’s as if there’s nothing else in the world apart from Europe.”

Recently he has been linked as the successor to Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona. Valverde’s contract is expiring on June 30, 2020 and it’s all but certain he will not be back. It is also certain that Lionel Messi approves of Gallardo as a replacement, having already referred to him as “one of the best.” Leo voted El Muñeco the third best coach in the world at FIFA’s The Best Awards, and that vote surely was heard by the Catalan club’s board. Having Messi’s ‘approval’ would be an important factor in deciding whether to hire a new coach. Another Blaugrana great, Andres Iniesta, who is currently playing for Vissel Kobe in the J-League, said “El trabajo que está haciendo Gallardo es sensacional.” (“The work Gallardo is doing is sensational.”)

What are Gallardo’s credentials that have him to linked to one of the most storied clubs in the world? In short, it’s his combination of youth, experience, a commitment to attacking football and an impressive CV as a player.

Now in his sixth year in charge, he has experienced great success at River; he has won the Copa Libertadores twice, and will have a chance to make that three in this year’s final later this month against Flamengo. Managing a club for six years is extremely rare in South America. Demands and needs change quickly due to the fact that the best players are continuously being sold off, mostly to Europe. As Guardiola pointed out, at River Plate “every year the players leave, but the work continues.”

Compensating for this has given Gallardo a depth of experience beyond most coaches of his experience.

Gallardo is credited with being proficient at reading the opposition, accurately assessing his own resources and making adjustments to the tactical plan, all without confusing his players. When he first took over at River, he used a 4-4-2 formation, featuring the old-fashioned Argentine diamond — a holder in front of the centre-backs, two mixed midfielders either side and the traditional No. 10, the position Gallardo had played.

On occasions he has even shifted to a back three — the first leg of last year’s Libertadores final against Boca being a prime example.

Marcelo Gallardo guided River Plate to the 2018 Copa Libertadores title over Boca Juniors. Denis Doyle/Getty Images

He was a top-class attacking midfielder in his playing days, subtle and skillful, with over 40 caps and two World Cups for Argentina to his credit. His playing career is mostly associated with River Plate, but he also played in Ligue Un (France) with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco. He also played in MLS and at Nacional de Montivideo. where he ended his playing days and promptly started coaching the side, taking them to the Uruguayan league title.

Gallardo played in two World Cups: France1998 and Korea-Japan 2002

The next test will be the Copa Libertadores final, now a one game final. It should be a tough challenge, as Flamengo is an attacking team under Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus.

If River prevail they will once again head to the FIFA Club World Cup — the one tournament where Gallardo has always come up short. In 2015, his side scraped by with a 1-0 semifinal win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima of Japan, before being overwhelmed in the final against Barcelona, 3-0. Last year, River did not even make the final, falling on penalties to Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates.

Regardless of the Club World Cup, a tournament that is not widely followed, Gallardo is the “in-demand” coach of the moment. Spanish press call him “El director técnico de moda.”

Both Barcelona and Miami have maintained contact with people connected to Gallardo, according to Argentinean publications. It was also reported that Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough had been to Argentina during the past few months. Whether this was to talk to people connected with the coach or to talk to potential players is not known. For his part, Gallardo has been very smart, with indications that he will not sit down and talk about a possible exit until after River’s last game this year. Strictly speaking that would be in December when the Argentina Superliga season ends.

For Miami, hiring an Argentine coach makes sense, seeing that the first two players the club signed are both from Argentina, making for an instant cultural connection for two promising players. It is also a strategy that worked well for Inter Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough when he was with Atlanta United. It was clear from early on indicated that the Five Stripes were going be very ambitious by building top-of-the-line training grounds, spending significant sums in MLS terms to acquire players and hiring an internationally well-known coach in Tata Martino, who had once led FC Barcelona and the Argentinean national team.

Inter Miami CF is overdue for announcing its head coach. Managing owner Jorge Mas previously said he was expecting to have a coach named by the end of September, later changed to October. That date has now come and gone. As each day passes without a coach being named, the most plausible explanation I can think of is that the head coach is someone who is still busy. Marcelo Gallardo clearly fits that description. What else would explain the hold up?

I’ve written before about the shortlist of top coaching candidates for the new club. While only those inside the negotiations can say for sure (which obviously they won’t), if the first head coach was going to be Santiago Solari or Gennaro Gattuso, or any other manager not currently employed, it’s hard to understand why that person is not already in Miami helping to plan for the inaugural season.

The Copa Libertadores Final is November 23. If you ask me, there will be a coaching announcement at the end of this month.

Read more | Relacionado

Shortlist Of Head Coaching Candidates at Inter Miami CF

Several Names Meet The Criteria

Miami, Fla. (Saturday, August 3, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

Inter Miami begins its first season in Major League Soccer next March, and team officials were present at last Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game in Orlando. Managing Owner Jorge Mas spoke with BBC Sports and other reporters, telling them that the team is “very close” to hiring a manager, and further that it is “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.” He said they are looking for a long-term coach.

“We are trying to get someone who can also commit here for a period of time and leave his fingerprints on our team,” Mas said.

“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff .”

Paul McDonough, Sporting Director

Jorge has previously mentioned the fact that the team had been to Europe to talk to candidates. With the above criteria and taking into account managers who are available, a shortlist of candidates would include:

Santiago Solari

The 42-year-old Argentine played at River Plate, Atlético Madrid, and Inter Milan, and has coached the Argentine national team, Real Madrid youth and briefly Real Madrid CF.

Solari took over the reigns at Real Madrid after Julien Lotepegui was dismissed following a 5-1 thrashing to Barcelona in El Clásico at the Camp Nou last October. He was the victim of two fatal weeks, in which Real said adíos to having a chance to win any of the three competitions in play (Copa del Rey, Champions League and La Liga). His time in charge ended on March 11, 2019 with the arrival of Zizou.

Solari retreated after his dismissal to his house in Ibiza to relax and destress. He still is being paid his salary by Real Madrid as his contract with the Merengues runs until 2021. He reportedly also received an offer to work at the club as a coach at their academy (“fútbol base de Valdebebas”) in April 2019 but wanted more time to respond, and ultimately did not take that job.

Both Solari and Julien Lotepegui want to continue to manage at the senior level. In the case of Lotepegui, he has received offers in the past from clubs in the Premier League, and it is thought that his preferred coaching style would be well suited to that competition. Solari was reportedly considered by Real Betis as a replacement for Quique Setién, who managed Betis for the past two seasons.

Massimiliano “Max” Allegri

Foto LaPresse – Daniele Badolato 21/05/2017 Torino ( Italia) Sport Calcio Juventus –

Allegri, 51, Italian, is a former midfielder who played in the Serie A and most recently led Juventus to five consecutive Scudettos (Serie A league titles, four Coppa Italia titles) and two Champions League finals from 2014-19. His five straight Scudetti is a first for a Serie A manager. Since his first appointment at Aglianese in Italy’s Serie C2 in 2004, Allegri has been on an increasing upwards trajectory which has now placed him as one of Europe’s top coaches. He won the Serie A title in his first year coaching AC Milan in 2010-11 season.

Allegri is ranked number four in the ESPN ranking of the world’s top 100 Coaches. Apart from his very obvious leadership qualities, Allegri’s success is also due to his tactical flexi bility, which makes him probably the most complete coach in the world. Allegri has also proven he can handle big personalities and players, with names likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo shining under his leadership.

“Playing well is one thing, winning is another.”

Max Allegri

David Moyes

The 56-year-old Scot played at Celtic, then coached at Preston North End, Everton Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham United).

Moyes recently spoke openly about his experience when first beginning at Everton:

He also recently had this to say about Manchester United, where he was hired in 2013 to replace the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and later sacked after just 10 months at Old Trafford. He admits he will always be disappointed that he failed to carry on Fergie’s run of success.

Jurgen Klinsmann

Juergen Klinsmann faces the media next to the club’s logo at a press conference in Munich, Jan. 11, 2008. AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)

Klinsmann, 55, is a former German international and US Men’s National Team coach who resides in Southern California. He too fits the description. He played for VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich, and played on the 1990 World Cup Champion team for Germany. In addition to the United States, Klinsmann has coached Germany, guiding Der Mannschaft to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup. No matter where he has managed, he has left behind a slew of supporters and detractors. As a club manager with Bayern Munich, Klinsmann lasted less than a full season, being fired in April 2009. He was credited with bringing new philosophies and even new-age training ideas to a club steeped in tradition.

Klinsmann seems like an unlikely candidate for the Inter Miami job. He has indicated a willingness to get back into coaching, but only if the right opportunity were to arise. It also appears his interests lie in coaching a national team rather than a club.

“Ahead of the World Cup in Russia, I had four or five inquiries from teams playing there,” Klinsmann told Sport Bild. “But I turned them down because their goal was to survive the group stages.”

“I had this goal with the U.S. (at the 2014 World Cup). It’s not enough for me now. If (I return), I want to lead an association of a certain calibre and with the goal to reach the semifinals at the World Cup. But if such a situation does not come to pass in the foreseeable future, I wouldn’t mind it for family reasons. My daughter Laila still attends school. And when she attends university next year, the situation changes.”

Roberto Martínez

Former Wigan, Swansea and Everton Manager Roberto Martínez, now coaching Belgium.

The current manager of the Belgium national team, Roberto Martínez, 46, was linked as a potential successor to Ernesto Valverde at FC Barcelona. The Spanish national is originally from Catalunya. He is under contract with the Belgian federation until June 30, 2020, as is Valverde at Barcelona.

According to a local Barcelona media report, the Blaugrana would prefer a coach who is ‘tougher’ in training, more ‘daring’ with his tactics and substitutions, and plays a more ‘attacking’ style of football. That local media outlet settles on Martinez as an individual who ticks those boxes.

Martínez began his playing career at Balaguer (his hometown in Spain), then played in England and Scotland (Wigan 1995-2001, Motherwell 2001-2002, Walsall 2002-2003, Swansea 2003-2006 et Chester 2006-2007). As a coach he has been in charge of Swansea from 2007-2009, Wigan 2009-2013 and Everton 2013-2016 prior to accepting the position with the Belgian Federation in 2016.

Martinez signed a contract to become the manager of Wigan Athletic in June 2009. Upon his arrival at the Barclays Premier League team, Martinez quickly established himself as one of the best young minds in the ranks of European football managers.  He spent four Premier League seasons at Wigan.

Martinez was named the manager at Everton FC in June 2013, taking over the team from David Moyes who replaced legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

His most notable distinction to-date is leading Les Diables Rouges to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. He also guided Wigan to the FA Cup title in 2012-13.

Thierry Henry

Henry, the 41-year-old former French international, won a World Cup with Les Bleues and is one of the best strikers of all-time, and has played and coached at the top level. Henry played for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal (leading scorer in club history with 174 goals), Barcelona, and the New York Red Bulls, which gives him MLS experience. He was an assistant coach for Belgium’s World Cup team in 2018 and coached in his first assignment as a manager at Monaco last season, but was let go.

Thierry Henry (Arsenal) celebrates with Arsenal at the last match ever at Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London, 7-May-2006. Credit : Arsenal Football Club / Stuart MacFarlane.

Gennaro Gattuso

Italian sports daily publication La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that former Italian international midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is one of the leading candidates to become the first manager of Inter Miami CF and has been in serious talks with the club. Gattuso was one of the key players on some great AC Milan squads during the early 2000s, playing alongside such stars as Defenders Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and under the direction of manager Carlo Ancelotti. He was also a teammate of David Beckham in 2009-10.

Gattuso, 41, resigned as coach of AC Milan in late-May after the team finished in fifth place in Serie A, one spot short of qualification for the UEFA Champions League. Talking about his emotional departure from the Rossoneri he told La Repubblica:

“Deciding to leave Milan’s bench is not easy. But it’s a decision I had to make. There was not a precise moment in which I made it, it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of a team that for me will never be like the others. Months that I lived with great passion, unforgettable months. Mine is a painful but thoughtful choice. 

“Am I giving up a two-year contract? Yes, because my story with Milan can never be a question of money.”

He went to say that the stress had gotten the best of him. “I’ve barely slept in the past 18 months, mentally I’m in pieces.” He had two years left on his contract at the time of his resignation; he asked that his remaining salary be divided among his assistant coaches.

Gattuso played 468 matches for Milan from 1999-2012 and wore the captain’s armband after Paolo Maldini retired. During his career, he won Champions League titles, Serie A championships, and played in three World Cups with the Italian national team, including as a member of the World Cup Champion side in 2006.

Gattuso was known for his fierce play. He left everything on the field every match, becoming famous for his fighting spirit, heart and determination. There is no doubt that he has first-hand knowledge about what it is like to play for a championship side.

Gennaro Gattuso challenging Palermo’s Luca Toni in a match in at the Stadio Renzo Barberi in Palermo on January 9, 2005.

Gattuso previously coached AC Milan’s U19 team, assuming the managerial post for the first team midway through the 2017-18 campaign following a tough start to the season for the Rossoneri. Pundits immediately questioned the decision due to his lack of experience. Gennaro tackled the question at his initial press conference: “It’s ridiculous to me that all we ever talk about is my grit,” he said. “They didn’t just give me my licence, I studied to get it.” Gattuso lit a fire under the Milan players, and whatever he may have lacked in managerial experience, he was able to get more from the players than predecessor Vincenzo Montella and steered Milan to sixth spot, as well as the Coppa Italia final.

As a result of his fine work, the Italian was handed the job permanently at Milan and signed a contract until 2021. Overall with AC Milan, he won 40 games, lost 20 and drew 22. Milan’s fifth-place finish in Serie A last season was its best since 2012-13, but he opted to leave.

According to La Gazzetta, he recently turned down the coaching job at French club Nantes. He was also linked with the Newcastle job in England, but they hired Sheffield Wednesday coach Steve Bruce.

Italian fashion: Gennaro Gattuso while head coach of Palermo during the Serie B match between AS Bari and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio San Nicola on September 24, 2013 in Bari, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

What could we expect from the man nicknamed “il ringhio” (the Italian word for growl) in Miami at the helm of the Rosinegro? At his very first press conference with AC Milan, Gattuso confirmed that he would deploy a back three, four in midfield and some variation of three forwards, a 3-4-1-2 looking likely. He also has deployed on many occasions at Milan a 4-3-3, with an emphasis on possession and a patient build up in the attack. He makes full use of the full backs get high and wide to take the place of the wingers should they go looking for the ball deep or infield, which they often do.

Paul McDonough, Miami’s Sporting Director, said last week that they had serious conversations with two coach candidates and that they won’t hire someone unless it is the perfect fit. He said MLS experience was not mandatory.

“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff,” McDonough said.


Continue reading Shortlist Of Head Coaching Candidates at Inter Miami CF