Argentine coach praised by Guardiola among the candidates to replace Xavi at Barcelona


BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - OCTOBER 16: Marcelo Gallardo head coach of River Plate looks on after a match between River Plate and Rosario Central as part of Liga Profesional 2022 at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on October 16, 2022 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Photo by Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

Since his press conference prior to the match against Almeria, the position of Xavi Hernandez on the FC Barcelona bench has become extremely precarious. The club President is very disappointed with some of his comments, and news in this regard show that the Terrassa-born coach can be sacked in the coming days.

As a result, speculation about who the next coach at the Catalan club will be is already running rife. Two of the main candidates who were the favorites to take this position after Xavi had announced his decision to leave the club in January, Rafa Marquez and Hansi Flick, are again the frontrunners for this position.

However, according to a report from Mundo Deportivo, another manager who has a chance of getting this position is the Argentine coach, Marcelo Gallardo. The former River Plate manager is currently working in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad and has long been liked by the Catalan club higher-ups.

The Argentine currently has a contract till 2025 with a Saudi club, but it would not be too difficult to convince him to come to Barcelona as he is not entirely comfortable in his current club, and an agreement can also be easily reached with the Saudi club’s officials who have also formerly worked with Barcelona, i.e., Ramon Planes and Franc Carbo.

Although he has never managed in Europe, Gallardo impressed during his eight-year spell at River Plate that ended in 2022. His style of play and achievements have won him plaudits from some of the most decorated managers in football, including the Barcelona legend and current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, who said the following about him:

“What Gallardo has done with River is incredible… Some things are inexplicable. Every year, three coaches are named as the best in the world (by FIFA). He’s never among them. I can’t understand it. It’s as if there’s nothing else in the world apart from Europe.”

Thus, with Guardiola’s words to back him, Gallardo definitely has the skills to lead Barcelona after Xavi Hernandez. While he can be an option for this position, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding this matter, and it remains to be seen whether Xavi will actually be sacked in the coming days.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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