Possible opponent for Fluminense in the Club World Cup, Al-Ittihad will have Marcelo Gallardo as coach. Several outlets in Argentina, such as the newspaper “Olé” and the channel “TyC Sports”, confirmed this Wednesday that the former River Plate coach agreed with Karim Benzema’s team in Saudi Arabia. And he should head to the Asian country over the weekend to sign a contract
“Olé” claims that Gallardo will become one of the three highest paid coaches on the planet, with a salary approaching the levels of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Diego Simeone at Atlético de Madrid. The Argentine would have been approved by Benzema, the main player of the Saudi team and protagonist of the episode that led to the dismissal of Nuno Espírito Santo.
Gallardo has been without a club since the end of last year, when he left River Plate after eight and a half years. The coach’s priority was to take on a European team, but he turned down invitations from Monaco, Olympique de Marseille, Leeds, Roma, Lyon and Sevilla, according to the Argentine and European press.
Gallardo made history at River Plate, only his second career club, after starting at Nacional, in Uruguay. In nine seasons, the former player made history, becoming the most successful coach of all time at the club, with 14 titles: two from the Copa Libertadores, one from the Copa Sudamericana, one from the Argentine Championship, two from the Super Cup. Argentina, three from the Recopa Sudamericana, three from the Argentine Cup, one from the Suruga Cup and one Champions Trophy. There were 228 victories in 424 games, with a 62.6% success rate.
Al-Ittihad’s next game is on November 24th, after Data Fifa, against Al-Ettifaq, a team coached by Steven Gerrard. Al-Ittihad’s expectation is to have a new coach during the period without matches to start work.
Club World Cup 2023: Libertadores champion could cross paths with Benzema’s Al-Ittihad
Current Saudi champions, Al-Ittihad debut in Club World Cup on December 12th, in his hometown, Jeddah, against Auckland City. Whoever passes the confrontation takes Al-Ahly, from Egypt. The winner of the bracket will face Fluminense in the semifinals.