South American Futbol - Libertadores, Sudamericana, World Cup 2010

Gallardo will don a River Plate jersey for the final time in Argentina


Gallardo won eight championships wearing a River Plate jersey.

At the age of 34, 22 years after making his club debut, Marcelo Gallardo announced that he will don the River Plate jersey for the final time against Tigre on Saturday. El Muneco spent a significant portion of his career as a player for the Buenos Aires giants, but he feels it is time to move on.

The two times I left (in 1999 & 2003), I knew I would return, but now I know it won’t be like this, therefore I’m pretty upset since I’ve spent a significant portion of my life here, said Gallardo.

The playmaker said that he had been considering it for two months and praised River president Daniel Passarella for proposing to renew his contract for another year before the superclasico with Boca Juniors. Gallardo, though, declined the offer.

When Passarella was the club’s coach in 1993, he gave Gallardo his River debut; now, 17 years later, Passarella will step down as the organization’s president.

Leonardo Astrada and Angel Cappa both limited Gallardo’s playing time with River this season, but he insisted that he is not “hurt,” only “extremely emotional.”

“I’ve spent most of my time living here. Given that I joined the club when I was 12 years old, how can I not be emotional? I’m overcome with emotion because this is my last chance to wear the River shirt.

Although Gallardo hasn’t decided where he will play next season, it might be in Argentina or abroad. The playmaker thinks it is much too soon to consider retiring.



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