GdS: River Plate legend and the 2-3-2-3 – Gallardo and Galtier on Milan’s list

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan seem to have set their sights on hiring a new manager from abroad to replace Stefano Pioli, and two of the names on their list are Marcelo Gallardo and Christophe Galtier.

La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Pioli will leave Milan at the end of the season. The decision has been made, the Rossoneri coach will be sacked, despite having a contract expiring on 30 June 2025

They start by looking at Gallardo who was born in a province of Buenos Aires, on 18 January 1976. He is the coach of Al-Ittihad and in the past played as a midfielder.

A River Plate legend

He wore the shirts of River Plate, Monaco, River Plate again, Paris Saint-Germain, DC United, River Plate again and Nacional. He also has 44 caps for Argentina.

His career as a coach began where his career as a footballer ended: at Nacional in Montevideo. He immediately won the league and then left. Two years later he was signed by River Plate, with whom he won the Copa Sudamericano and then the Copa Libertadores in 2015, 19 years after the last time.

His time at River was full of successes, including a second Copa Libertadores. The 14 trophies obtained make him the most successful in the history of the club. The league title arrived in 2021, while in the following season he announced his farewell. Last November he accepted the proposal of Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League.

Gallardo is not the type of coach who can be pigeonholed into a certain formation. The main criterion of his philosophy is the domination of the game, which is sought in different ways. He prefers a four-man defence, with the midfield that can be arranged in a diamond shape or with two midfielders and a regista.

Stylistically he is reminiscent of Marcelo Bielsa and asks his teams to always have a very high intensity, useful for an almost ferocious mission to win the ball back soon after lowing it. Possession must be characterised by rapid ball circulation, with the aim of moving the ball forward early and well.

The French connection

Galtier meanwhile was born in Marseille on 23 August 1966. Today he coaches Al-Duhail, in the past he played as a defender. In his career he wore the shirts of Olympique Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, Angers, Nimes, Marseille again, Monza and Liaoning, retiring in 1999.

It was precisely in that year that he began his career on the Marseille bench as deputy. For 10 years he was second with several teams: Aris Thessaloniki, Bastia, Al-Ain, Portsmouth, Sochaux, Olympique Lyon and Saint-Etienne.

With the latter club he took over from the sacked Alain Perrin in December 2009 and achieved the goal of avoiding relegation. His rise continued at the club, which managed to secure qualification for Europe and a French League Cup which ended a 32-year drough for the Verts.

He then went to Lille and revived them too. In 2019 he finished second and in 2021 he won Ligue 1 with Les Dogues, and then he rather surprisingly left at the end of the season.

He went to OGC Nice, but his time there lasted only a year because he was hired by Paris Saint-Germain. He won the Super Cup and the league, but it wasn’t enough to avoid being sack, then last October he replaced Crespo as coach of Al-Duhail in Qatar.

Galtier prefers the simultaneous use of two attacking wingers and two attackers, in a sort of 4-4-2 with a clear attacking vocation. It is a system that brought him great success at Lille and which instead did not take root at PSG.

The idea is to line up the players on four lines during possession, in a sort of 2-3-2-3. This solution allows you to resort to a direct build-up through the many vertical options in the various areas of the pitch, when the pressing is so high that it prevents the other team playing out.

However, when the team does not control the ball, the classic 4-4-2 arrangement comes naturally with the four-man lines that are compressed to limit the opponent’s build-up if the first phase of pressure does not lead to immediate ball recovery.

Tags AC Milan Christophe Galtier Marcelo Gallardo


  1. Wanted Gallardo last season when Pioli should have been fired. He just left River Plate at the time.
    If Motta is Juve bound, and Conte and De Zerbi are too expensive, I wouldn’t mind Gallardo.

    1. Yeah most exciting name so far in our range, albeit he doesn’t have any experience in Europe. He seems to have strong character though, not sure it would fit since Jerry seems to prefer yes men.

      1. Absolutely would give Gallardo a chance, he has the potential (a bit like Xabi Alonso showed at Leverkusen) to become a sparkling coach soonish and develop into a world class one in the next 5-10 years.

        Of course it’s a risk, not a proven track record like a Klopp or Ancelotti but given our options this one is far more exciting than the likes of Italiano, Lopetegui or Conte

    2. The foremost consideration should be a coach who can develop and integrate the many Primavera talents we have as this is our path to relevance once again

  2. Well River Plate are huge so he has big club experience. Also 2323 is a fantastic formation if it’s done right


    It could be superb. The DM position is key

  3. Gallardo is a great idea, imho. He might be a risk but also a rising star who can bring some mojo to ACM. To be he sounds that like that the right manager for this team and its potential.

  4. Very good, I would take him any day anytime.

    I have been clamouring for Jorge Sampaoli or Marcelo Bielsa, but Gallardo is very similar to Marcelo Bielsa and will be my pick.

    I’m glad to hear this.

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