The clubs heading into the CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 with new managers

Gilberto Mendoza signs for Sporting Cristal, who were the last team looking for a new head coach.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

'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.

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. 

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