November 20, (THEWILL) – The prominent Saudi Arabian football club Al-Ittihad has appointed Argentine manager Marcelo Gallardo as their new head coach through 2025, it was announced on Saturday. Gallardo replaces sacked coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
Gallardo joins Al-Ittihad after an acclaimed eight-year tenure with Argentine club River Plate, during which he led the team to a total of 14 trophies, including two Copa Libertadores championships. This successful period made Gallardo the most decorated manager in River Plate’s history.
Al-Ittihad, currently positioned fifth in the Saudi Pro League table, has struggled for form lately, winning only one of their last five league matches. They also suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Iraqi club Air Force in their most recent Asian Champions League fixture, despite still leading their Champions League group with nine points from four games.
The appointment of Gallardo, one of South America’s most respected managers, signals Al-Ittihad’s ambition to improve their fortunes both domestically and in continental competition. The club will be hoping the Argentine can replicate his River Plate success and bring more silverware to the club.
The announcement was made in an official statement by Al-Ittihad’s Board of Directors on Saturday. Gallardo has signed a one-and-a-half-year contract with the club.