Marcelo Gallardo (born January 18, 1976 in Merlo, Buenos Aires,
Argentina) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for
River Plate of Primera División Argentina as an Attacking
Nicknamed El Muñeco (the doll) due to his small frame (169 cm,
70 kg), Gallardo started his football career back in 1992/93
season with River Plate and won 3 Argentinian Torneo de Apertura
(93, 94 and 96), 1 Argentinian Torneo de Clausura (1997) and 1
Copa Libertadores (1996).
His initial spell with the Los Millionarios lasted until season
1998/99, by then he had played 109 first-class games for them
and scored 17 goals.
In 1999 he was snapped up by Monaco, in his first season in
Europe, Gallardo proved his worth and played 28 games, scoring 8
goals and formed lethal partnership with Ludovic Giuly in
Midfield. In the following season, Gallardo won his first
Première Division and Trophée Des Champions with Monaco. As a
team containing many big-name players such as; Marco Simone,
Christian Panucci, Ludovic Giuly, Philippe Christanval and
Rafael Márquez, Monaco enjoyed their success domestically and it
was evident Gallardo was one of the star players, having won the
French League Footballer of the Year that year.
However in his third season, things didn't go well off the pitch
for Gallardo as he wasn't in good terms with his coach Didier
Deschamps after being named on the bench midway through 2000/01
season. Following the examples of Panucci and Simone, Gallardo
decided to leave Monaco at the end of the season.
After making 75 appearances and scoring 17 goals for Monaco,
Gallardo returned to his old club River Plate as a club captain,
he helped them win another Clausura in 2004.
His current contract runs until end of 2005/06 season.
Gallardo made his international debut for Argentina in 1994
against Chile and made over 43 appearances and scored 14 goals.
He was also in the Argentina squad for the 2002 World Cup.