Fernando Gago is headed to Liga MX…
The Mexican soccer league’s Chivas have hired the 27-year-old Argentine football manager and former player as their new head coach.
Gago replaces Veljko Paunovic (21W-8D-13L), who mutually parted ways with Liga MX’s second-most successful side on December 15 after a disappointing quarterfinal playoff exit in the 2023 Apertura season.
Although Paunovic initially exceeded expectations with a run to the 2023 Clausura final in his first season in charge, this season’s quarterfinal exit, coupled with a failure to qualify for the knockout round of the summer’s inaugural MLS-Liga MX Leagues Cup tournament, ultimately led to his departure.
Gago will now begin his third managerial job — and first outside of his home country — after previously leading Racing Club (2021-23) and Aldosivi (2021).
With Aldosivi, Gago produced inconsistent results and resigned in October 2021 after suffering seven defeats in a row.
Brought on by Racing Club weeks later, Gago closed out the 2021 Liga Profesional de Futbol season with a 3W-0D-5L record.
After mixed performances in 2022’s Copa de la Liga Profesional, Copa Argentina and Copa Sudamericana, Racing Club eventually gained steam with a second place finish in the 2022 league season, a Trofeo de Campeones title and a Supercopa Internacional championship in January 2023.
However, questionable results returned, including a 12th place finish in the regular season, which led to Gago’s exit in early October.
Despite being plagued by injuries as a player, Gago collected 61 caps for Argentina‘s national team, as well as a long list of club titles through Boca Juniors, Real Madrid and Velez Sarsfield.
The midfielder also played abroad for Roma and Valencia.
Chivas return to play in January for the 2024 Clausura season. The Guadalajara side are second in Liga MX’s all-time list for championships with 12, but have only lifted once league trophy since 2007.
On Sunday, historic rivals Club América secured their 14th Liga MX title after defeating Tigres 4-1 on aggregate in the 2023 Apertura final.