Updated: Nov 19
Marcelo Gallardo has signed contracts to take over Al-Ittihad as a new coach this Saturday evening.
Gallardo headed to the airport to travel to Saudi Arabia and begin his career with Al-Ittihad, and during those moments he announced the news to the newspapers.
The Argentine coach said in his speech, "It was a personal decision, and I was motivated by the great advanced project. It opens my mind and encourages me a lot. It is a great journey of discovery."
According to what Fabrizio Romano revealed, Gallardo’s contract with Al-Ittihad will be until June 2025, with the option to extend for another two years, until June 2026.
Gallardo's salary with Ittihad has not been announced, although reports indicate that he receives 17 million euros annually.
Al-Ittihad had dismissed its former coach, Nuno Santo, due to a decline in results, leaving the Jeddah Tigers in sixth place in the Saudi League standings.
Gallardo will face a number of challenges, most notably the Club World Cup, which begins next December in Jeddah, as well as overcoming the gap with the leader of the Roshen League, Al Hilal, which currently 11 points, in addition to qualifying for the round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, and crossing the quarter-finals of the King’s Cup.
It is noteworthy that Gallardo won the Uruguayan League title with Nacional, then began a long career with River Plate that spanned 8 years, during which he won the Copa Libertadores twice, and the Argentine League once.