In this century only three coaches managed to conquer America in the same way they did as players: winning the Libertadores Coup.
Three coaches have managed to win the Copa Libertadores title as technical directors and as players. / Photos: Flickr-Public Media, elGrafico.com.ar
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado
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Leer en español: 3 técnicos y jugadores que conquistaron la Copa Libertadores
If something is quite common in the world of football, it is those great players who after hanging their boots decide to venture into football coaching, but contrary to expectations they do not obtain good results, the same happens with successful coaches who in their step as players never highlighted, in fact, there are top-level coaches who did not even dedicate themselves professionally to playing it, as is the case of José Mourinho or Rafa Benítez. However, there are coaches who not only triumphed as footballers winning the Libertadores Coup, but also did so as coaches, these are the last three:
A member of the "86 champions" this Argentine exporter was part of an unforgettable generation of River Plate, when they won their first Libertadores Coup after beating América de Cali 2-1 in the first leg and 0-1 in the second leg, that same River Plate was champion of the Intercontinental Cup and Pumpido was part of Argentina's eleventh title of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Pumpido's winning streak did not end there. After retiring in 1992, he returned to football as coach in 1999, taking the baton of Club Atlético Unión de Argentina. His greatest glory came a short time later, when in 2002 he reached the final of the Libertadores Coup, directing Olimpia of Paraguay that faced São Caetano of Brazil. Olimpia lost the first leg at home 0-1, but Pumpido also declared: "Olimpia is going to be champion of America." The return in Brazil began losing 1-0, the Paraguayan club managed to react and put it 1-2 until taking it to penalties, where they ended up conquering the cup and making Pumpido the sixth coach in history that the Libertadores has raised as a player and coach.
#LibertadoresxFOX A solo una hora en que este hombre comience a hacer más grande su historia (si es que cabe) con #River. Marcelo Gallardo ha participado en 3 de las 4 gestas más grandes del "Millonario": 1996 (ganó la #Libertadores como jugador), 2015 y 2018 (como DT) pic.twitter.com/QoY1DJDUWy— Somosmasquefutbol (@Masquefut) November 23, 2019
The Argentine coach has been a key piece in River Plate's golden age, since as a coach the “doll” has won 11 titles since his appointment in 2014, according to Goal, just one year after arriving at the club, Gallardo achieved glory in the Libertadores Coup to give River the third title in this competition 19 years later, after beating the Monterrey Tigres, the first leg was in Mexico and ended without goals for both, but the return was a dream for the Argentines, Gallardo was on the bench due to a suspension, however River won 3-0 in a game marked by rain.
But it did not end there, as Gallardo led River to its fourth Libertadores Coup, contesting the final against its greatest rival: Boca Juniors, in a controversial match after a first leg that ended 2-2 at La Bombonera, but the return match was suspended After attacks on the Boca Juniors bus by River fans upon arrival at the stadium, the game was played almost a month later at the Santiago Bernabeú, Real Madrid's stadium, a historic match that River won 3-1.
Although Gallardo's history with River did not begin there, since in 1996 it was he who occupied part of the Argentine club's midfield in a final for Libertadores against América de Cali, the same club with which Nery Pumpido had won the first Libertadores de River, and incredibly everything started the same as that time, with a 1-0 defeat in Colombian territory, but this time the return did not reach penalties since River won 2-0 to be crowned champion, in this way Gallardo participated directly in three of the four Libertadores Coup that the Argentine club boasts.
The last to join the “club”, Gaúcho is considered an idol for his country's team, the Gremio de Porto Alegre. His history as a professional footballer began with this same club in 1982 when he debuted in the first team, a year later he was champion of the Libertadores where he would be featured in the team according to the newspaper As, participating in the first Libertadores Coup won by Gremio, after facing Peñarol de Uruguay, defending champion at that time, the first leg culminated 1-1 in Uruguayan territory, while the return was dominated by the Brazilians leading the victory 2-1.
RENATO GAÚCHO, LEYENDA DE GRÊMIO!!!!— MisterChip (Alexis) (@2010MisterChip) November 30, 2017
Es la octava persona que gana la Copa Libertadores como jugador y como entrenador, tras Humberto Maschio, Roberto Ferreiro, Luis Cubilla, Juan Martín Mujica, José Omar Pastoriza, Nery Pumpido y Marcelo Gallardo. pic.twitter.com/PreqPbb6vU
Gaúcho returned to the Gremio after his retirement as a footballer, in 2011 he would lead the club but did not stay for a year. It was not until the end of 2016 that he would return to the Guild, this time to achieve important things, the newspaper As classifies him as "the most stable coach in the Brazilian league", and it is that Gaúcho would meet again with the Libertadores Coup in 2017 winning Lanús of Argentina 1-0 in the first leg and 1-2 in the second leg, becoming the most recent coach to lift the Libertadores Coup as a player and coach.