Not only Marcelo Gallardo: these coaches also dared to refuse FC Barcelona’s benchThe Argentinian coach was poised to take over FC Barcelona last year, but it was revealed he actually refused an offer.
Argentina’s lifetime giants are Boca Juniors and River Plate. They are the greatest clubs in the country and have always been among the biggest ones in South America. The historical head-to-head East largely dominated by Boca juniors but in the recent years River Plate has prevailed in many face to face clashes.
River Plate is popularly known as The Millionaires in Argentina are enjoying the best decade in their history. The most important character in their success is their coach Marcelo Gallardo. The former international player of Argentina (he appeared in 1998 and 2002 World Cups) has excelled for his leadership and his huge influence in the players. Local sports journalist Ariel Senosiain revealed this week that former River Plate, AS Monaco and DC United playmaker rejected an offer to become Barcelona coach last year.
As per the journalist it was one of the club's technical secretaries, Eric Abidal, who spoke to Gallardo at the beginning of 2020, after River Plate lost the Copa Libertadores final against Flamengo in injury time. He was offered to be the new coach when Ernesto Valverde was still in his charge. After losing the Spanish Super Cup on January 9, 2020, Valverde was sacked. Gallardo refused the position because he had already started the pre-season five days ago, and remained committed to River Plate.
The Argentinian coach was revealed to have rejected an offer, but then, when Quique Setién was chosen, other names like Ronald Koeman gave the same answer. The Dutch coach was in charge of Netherlands’ national team, and was getting ready for the Euro 2020, which was later postponed to this year. Former Barcelona star Xavi was also contacted, but he decided to stay in Qatar’s Al-Sadd SC.