Ittihad welcome new Argentine coach Gallardo
RIYADH: Al-Ittihad’s new head coach Marcelo Gallardo arrived in Jeddah late Sunday to lead the reigning Roshn Saudi League champions for the next year and a half.
Gallardo takes over the Tigers following a highly decorated 8 years with Argentine club River Plate, where he led the team to win the Copa Libertadores, South America’s prime club competition, in 2015 and 2018.
The club posted photos on social media early on Monday of Gallardo being welcomed with roses and Arabic coffee after landing at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International airport.
The 47-year-old Argentine will lead the club in his first match this Friday against Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq in Dammam.
Ittihad are currently fifth in the Saudi Pro League.
They are set to represent Saudi Arabia at the FIFA Club World Cup 2023 in Jeddah next month.
In his first visit to Saudi Arabia, Gallardo led a Saudi Riyadh Season select team in an exhibition match against French champions Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year.
Ittihad parted ways with former coach Nuno Espírito Santo early this month following five consecutive winless matches.
The club thanked the outgoing manager, who joined the side on July 4, 2022, for his time with the team.