29 January 2008

Meet Marcelo Gallardo

Marcelo Gallardo makes DC history today just for being the team's first Designated Player. There's still an MLS season to play and determine if he'll go down as a Denilson or Reyna DP, or turn out to have it like Blanco or Angel.

What do we know about him?

He's 5'6"", and thus nicknamed "El Muñeco" - "The Doll". I fully expect opposing defenders to hack and foul him, to disrupt his game.

He made his professional debut with River Plate at the age of 16. After seven years, 109 appearances, and 17 goals in Argentina, he transfered to French Club Monaco. His spell in the French Premiere Devision lasted four seasons. During that time, AS Monaco won the league (2000), the league cup (2003), and champion's trophy (2000). In 2000, Gallardo was named French Ligue 1 Footballer of the Year. A fallout with Monaco's coach precipitated his return to River Plate in 2003. During his second stint with River he scored 25 goals in 77 appearances, and won the Clausura in 2004. One year ago, he returned to the French first division with Paris Saint-Germain for a lackluster season, starting only one game.

He's been capped by Argentina 44 times, and has scored 14 goals for the national side. Besides playing on the 1998 and 2002 World Cup squads, he was also on the Olympic team that won a silver medal in Atlanta in 1996.

Clearly, Gallardo has been on teams that win hardware. The question now is, will that continue or is that in the past?

Other Reactions
  • DCSundevil "I hope that the front office are right about Gallardo."

  • My Soccer Blog on our very own Beckham: "Gallardo should be able to bring some solid technical skills to the team"
As a footnote, in comments earlier I mentioned that Gallardo was meant to market the team to Argentineans. To clarify, I meant to point out that I think to the suits in MLS, a significant factor in being pursued as a DP is marketability beyond MLS fans.

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At 29 January, 2008 22:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Through out the entire Gomez/Gallardo drama, I can imagine Emilio sitting in the opposite corner of the room by himself, wondering aloud, "Hey! I'm still here! Hello? Do I need to score another 20 goals?"

At 30 January, 2008 09:15, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Thanks for the history. Great information.

I hadn't realized that Gallardo was only 5'6". When he and Niell (at 5'4") are on the field at the same time, there are going to be some new nicknames. Can't wait to see what the commentators come up with...

Obviously United aren't trying to win any headers this year.

At 30 January, 2008 12:33, Blogger Catherine-Lucia said...

Hey! Jeremy! Maradona here. I'm Argentine and 5'5". I'm also one of the greatest soccer legends of all time. There's even a church named after me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iglesia_Maradoniana

(Told you.)

I think you get the point, no? Height doesn't matter all that much. Especially when it comes to Latin American footballers. They make it work.

At 30 January, 2008 14:13, Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

I'll be passing the same on to DCSundevil, and it fits his space better, but I feel like I should warn all DC fans of the inauspicious omens surrounding this whole Gallardo/Gomez situation. You'll find those smack in the middle of this post...start reading around "One last related point."

At 30 January, 2008 19:10, Blogger Andrew said...

Gallardo is also a former captain with River and has close to 50 international caps with Argentina.

Maybe a question that can be raised has been the fact that he has had public falling outs with two seperate coaches (Deschamps at Monaco and Merlo at River). I know at River he basically led a player revolt.

I think its a great signing but just providing some additional information.

At 31 January, 2008 08:23, Anonymous Jeremy said...

catherine-lucia: I am sure that we could sit down and come up with a list of the all time greatest short footballers, put them all on one team and call them the seven dwarves plus three (because you would never have a short tender).

I was not trying to indicate that I didn't think that Gallardo or Niell were great players. I certainly don't think that you get to play on an Argentine world cup team by being a chump.

That said, the size disadvantage has to be made up with speed. I certainly hope that Gallardo hasn't lost too much speed with his age.

At 31 January, 2008 22:07, Blogger Catherine-Lucia said...

jeremy: too true. Gallardo might be a bit slow, but I think Niell will be a little speed bullet. :)

At 31 January, 2008 23:59, Anonymous PastMyPrime said...

it would seem that you forgot to mention in his stats that he is 68 years old and will be able to supplement his DP salary with social security benefits.


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