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Marcelo Gallardo named new River Plate coach

2.19K   //    07 Jun 2014, 14:45 IST

Buenos Aires, June 7 (IANS) Marcelo Gallardo was presented as the new coach of Argentine football club River Plate.

Gallardo Friday replaced Ramon Diaz, the most successful coach in the history of the team, which is one of the country's two top clubs, along with Boca Juniors, reports Xinhua.

Gallardo said he was "very hopeful" of the "opportunity" to coach the winning team.

"I was born to take on big challenges," Gallardo said at a press conference at the team's headquarters here Friday.

"River is above everything and all names. River is first, second and last," said Gallardo, 38, who once played for River for three seasons.

Gallardo competed in both the 1998 France World Cup and the 2002 World Cup. His first coaching job was with Uruguay's Nacional de Montevideo (2011-2012) and he led the team to a national title.

River is this year's champion of Argentina's Closing Tournament, which qualifies the team for the 2014 South American Cup and the 2015 Libertadores Cup, the two most important tournaments at the regional level.

Diaz left the team due to differences with management, including club president Rodolfo D'Onofrio and sports manager Enzo Francescoli.