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Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad name Argentine Gallardo as manager

Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad appoint Argentine Gallardo as new manager
1 min read
19 November, 2023
Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo succeeds Nuno Espirito Santo as Al-Ittihad's latest coach.
Gallardo previously enjoyed a successful eight-year spell with Argentinian side River Plate, guiding them to numerous trophies [Getty/file photo]

Saudi champions Al-Ittihad have named Argentine Marcelo Gallardo as coach through to 2025 following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo, the club said on Saturday.

Gallardo returns to management after leaving River Plate last year following an eight-year spell that saw him guide the team to 14 titles, including two Copa Libertadores, making him the club's most successful coach.

"The Board of Directors of Al-Ittihad announces the signing of a new coaching staff, led by the Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo, to coach the football first team with a contract extending for a year and a half," the club said.

Al-Ittihad are fifth in the Saudi Pro League having won only once in their last five games.

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They also slumped to a 2-0 loss at Air Force Club in their last Asian Champions League match, though they still lead Group C with nine points from four games against seven for the Iraqis. 

The Jeddah club signed Real Madrid and France star player Karim Benzema in summer, amid the Saudi Pro League's spending spree on high-profile international players.

Former Chelsea player N'golo Kante and Liverpool midfielder Fabinho also joined the Saudi club during last summer's transfer window.