The CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 is about to get started and whilst transfers and preseason training camps are underway, a total of 15 clubs have changed their manager ahead of the most prestigious tournament in South American football.
Gilberto Mendoza takes over at Sporting Cristal
The Colombian coach, who coached Junior in the last CONMEBOL Libertadores, has arrived at Sporting Cristal. His new side are in Group C alongside Olimpia, Godoy Cruz and Universidad de Concepción. Mendoza has coached teams in Colombia, Ecuador and Honduras. As a footballer himself he played in the World Cups in Italy (1990) and the United States (1994) with Colombia.
Gómez joins Godoy Cruz
Marcelo Gómez begins his first managerial role in Argentina's first division with Godoy Cruz. 'El Negro', as he's known, takes over after working in Vélez's lower ranks. It was at Vélez where he won the CONMEBOL Libertadores in 1994 as a player.
Gustavo Alfaro and his big challenge at Boca
The 56-year-old head coach takes over at Boca Juniors, replacing the outgoing Guillermo Barros Schelotto. He joins after leaving Huracán, who have also qualified for the Libertadores, and will lead Boca in the biggest challenge of his career to date. His best spell as a coach came with Arsenal, a club where he won four titles: Copa Sudamericana 2007, Clausura 2012, Supercopa Argentina 2012 and Copa Argentina 2013. He also gained promotion to Argentina's Primera Division with Olimpo and Quilmes.
🏆 Gustavo Alfaro asumió como técnico de @BocaJrsOficial y ya tiene un objetivo.
🔜 El 5 de marzo los Xeneizes debutan en la #CONMEBOLLibertadores 2⃣0⃣1⃣9⃣ante Jorge Wilstermann en Bolivia. pic.twitter.com/wy7r26D8oS — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) 2 de enero de 2019
Miguel Ángel Russo steps into the Alianza Lima hot seat
62-year old Russo has been officially revealed as Alianza's new manager. They are in Group A of the CONMEBOL Libertadores alongside River Plate, Internacional and one of the winners from Phase 3. Miguel, who fought against - and beat - cancer, joins Alianza after a stint managing Millonarios F.C. The Bogota based side were eliminated in the group stage of the 2018 edition. However in 2007 Russo had much better luck as he guided Boca Juniors to their sixth CONMEBOL Libertadores title.
Bienvenido Miguel Angel Russo🎉
El DT campeón de la Copa Libertadores 2007 con Boca. Campeón con Lanús, Rosario Central, Estudiantes y Velez Sarsfield, además campeón del Clausura en el 2017 y Super liga colombiana con Millonarios FC 2018, llega para ponerse el buzo blanquiazul. pic.twitter.com/pZx9FnixHL — Club Alianza Lima (@ClubALoficial) 28 de diciembre de 2018
Antonio Mohamed returns to Huracán
The 48-year-old 'El Turco' is the new coach at Huracán, a club which he has a deep connection to and where he'll be take charge for the fourth time in his career. Mohamed joins after a short spell in charge of Spanish side Celta Vigo. In the Libertadores his best result as a coach was in 2013 when he reached the quarter finals of the competition with Xolos. They were eliminated by Atlético Mineiro who would later go on to be crowned champions. Furthermore in 2010 he won the CONMEBOL Sudamericana with Independiente. Huracán join Cruzeiro, Emelec and Deportivo Lara in Group B.
Eduardo Domínguez arrives at Nacional
The 40-year-old Argentinian has officially been named as coach of Nacional de Montevideo. He arrives from Colón de Santa Fe after starting his career with Huracán, the club he retired with as a player. He's the son-in-law of Carlos Bianchi, the coach who has won the most Libertadores titles with four (3 with Boca, 1 with Vélez). Domínguez replaces Alexander Medina. In the 2019 edition, Nacional will face off against Cerro Porteño, Zamora and a team from Phase 3 in Group E.
El nuevo director técnico del Club Nacional de Football es Eduardo Domínguez. ¡Bienvenido a esta nueva etapa del Decano del Fútbol Uruguayo! #ElNacionalQueSeViene pic.twitter.com/EzsfbBOfcl — Nacional (@Nacional) December 27, 2018
Pautasso takes over Melgar
Jorge Pautasso, the former assistant of Gerardo Martino with Argentina, Paraguay and FC Barcelona, is the new coach of Melgar. The Peruvian side will enter the competition in Phase 2 and come up against Universidad de Chile on the 5th February. The 56-year-old Argentine coach will take charge of the team from the 3rd January.
Nos complace en presentar a nuestro flamante D.T., Jorge Pautasso, quien estará al mando del Dominó durante la temporada 2019. 👏👏🔴⚫️ ¡BIENVENIDO, PROFE! #LaRojinegraONada
Déjale tu mensaje de bienvenida en los comentarios. 👇 pic.twitter.com/XO4Z9gzx17 — FBC Melgar (@MelgarOficial) December 26, 2018
Vigevani is in at Bolívar
44-year-old César Vigevani arrives at Club Bolívar and replaces the outgoing Alfredo Arias. Vigevani joins after a spell at Sport Boys and will be thrown in at the deep end almost immediately. Bolívar start in Phase 1 of the CONMEBOL Libertadores and face Defensor Sporting on the 23rd January.
Escobar hangs up his boots and begins his managerial career
On Wednesday 19th December, Pablo Escobar completed his final match as a footballer. At 40 years old, he retired in The Strongest's shirt during a magical night in which he scored four goals. Five days later he announced that he would be taking over as The Strongest's coach.
Pablo Escobar será nuestro Director Técnico para la gestión 2019. Escucha el mensaje que nos deja a todos los Stronguistas. #PabloNoSeVa #VamosTigre
⚽🇧🇴🐅⚽ https://t.co/ulNYNXOKg2 — Club The Strongest (@ClubStrongest) December 24, 2018
A Spaniard at Jorge Wilstermann
Spanish coach Miguel Ángel Portugal has taken over at Jorge Wilstermann. His team will enter Group G of the CONMEBOL Libertadores alongside Boca Juniors, Athletico Paranaense and Deportes Tolima. It's the second team the Spaniard has managed in Bolivia after a stint at Club Bolívar between 2012 and 2013.
🔴 #BienvenidoMiguelÁngel 🔵
En unos momentos, firmará su contrato y será presentado nuestro nuevo estratega.
En vivo por la página de Facebook. #EnLaSangre #VamosAviadores #ProfePortugal pic.twitter.com/hdriEzzle1 — Club Deportivo Jorge Wilstermann (@WilstermannCD) December 20, 2018
Gustavo Quinteros is the new coach of Universidad Católica
The Argentine born Bolivian, who is 53 years old, is the new coach of recently crowned Chilean champions Universidad Católica. Quinteros has experience coaching national teams - Bolivia and Ecuador - but it's the first time he'll manage a side from Chile. He's worked in Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
¡TENEMOS NUEVO DIRECTOR TÉCNICO!
✅Dirigió dos selecciones nacionales
✅Disputó la Copa América y Clasificatorias al Mundial
✅Seis veces campeón en Primera División
¡Bienvenido Gustavo Quinteros! pic.twitter.com/M0SJ7EnQ32 — Universidad Católica (@CruzadosSADP) December 21, 2018
An experienced head for Junior
Following the departure of Jorge Comesaña, the coach who won the Colombian championship and finished as runners up in the CONMEBOL Sudamericana 2018, the Colombian Luis Fernando Suárez takes charge of Club Junior. Suárez was coach of Ecuador in the 2006 World Cup (eliminated in the last 16) and Honduras in the 2014 World Cup (eliminated in the first round).
�,Comunicado Oficial |
Luis Fernando Suárez, nuevo DT de JUNIOR🇦🇹▶️ https://t.co/HotAo3BUkZ
¡BIENVENIDO AL CAMPEÓN, PROFE🌟! #VamosJunior 🔴⚪🔵 #JuniorCampeón 🌟🏆
📸: Cortesía pic.twitter.com/fk4VdjSePf — Club Junior FC (@JuniorClubSA) December 21, 2018
From Colo Colo to Real Garcilaso
Héctor Tapia, who guided Colo Colo to the quarter finals of the last CONMEBOL Libertadores, will take charge of Real Garcilaso. His new team enter the 2019 edition at the Phase 1 stage and their opponents will be Deportivo La Guaira on the 23rd January.
🔵⚪ #Contratación | Héctor Tapia (DT)
▶ Anunciamos la CONTRATACIÓN de Héctor Tapia como DIRECTOR TÉCNICO por toda la temporada 2019.
Hincha Garcilasiano, envíale un mensaje de aliento a nuestro DT. pic.twitter.com/HbuAo5XabB — Real Garcilaso (@RealGarcilaso) December 17, 2018
'El Polilla' returns to Defensor Sporting
Jorge Da Silva has returned to Defensor Sporting and will take charge of the team for their Phase 1 clash in the CONMEBOL Libertadores against Club Bolívar. 'El Polilla' is back at the club after a 10-year gap since his last spell in charge. During 2005 and 2009 he won the Uruguayan championship in the 2007/2008 season.
Al mando del "Polilla" el plantel volvió a los entrenamientos en #ComplejoArsuaga . Comenzó el 2019 para Defensor Sporting 👊🏼 #SiempreDefensor pic.twitter.com/l8QBsh27jp — Defensor Sporting (@DefensorSp) December 26, 2018
Abel Braga is in at Flamengo
The experienced Brazilian coach will take over at Flamengo in 2019. He'll have a tough task at trying to make it through to the knockout rounds as his side come up against Peñarol, Liga Universitaria de Quito and San José in Group D.