Marcelo Gallardo statue: why is River Plate great’s football statue going viral?
Marcelo Gallardo is amongst the most successful managers in River Plate’s history and he won 13 titles during his eight year stay
River Plate have honoured their manager Marcelo Gallardo by unveiling a new statue outside the club’s Monumental Stadium, but a certain detail of the figure has caught the attention of many football fans.
The Argentinian football club’s 26-foot-tall bronze statue of Gallardo has been mocked on social media due to its oversized crotch area and it has inspired a host of internet memes.
Gallardo is the most successful manager in River Plate’s history and he lifted an incredible 14 titles in eight years from 2014 to 2022. He is currently taking a break from football management but he has been linked with a number of Premier League vacancies in recent months.
The details of the statue are currently trending on social media but how has Gallardo responded to the new statue and has the sculptor responded? Here is everything you need to know.
What has Marcello Gallardo said?
Marcello Gallardo, who left his coaching role at River Plate last year, appeared unbothered by the attention generated by the statue.
The two time Copa Libertadores winner used the statue as an opportunity to congratulate the people who had helped him during his successful tenure as River Plate manager.
Gallardo said: “I want to express my gratitude to my family, my friends, my coaching staff and the players who have accompanied us. This club is great for its history but also for its glories. Thanks to the fans. I will always love you. I grew up in this club and I will die in this club.”
What has been said about the statue?
The statues sculptor Mercedes Savall has explained that the exaggerated trouser bulge is deliberate and claims it is designed to reflect vulgar terrace slang in the country.
She said: “I exaggerated that part and I understood it has to do with a gesture towards the fans. This is football, fans always ask the players and the manager to ‘put a lot of eggs (effort) into it’ and it was like a subliminal message through the sculpture.”
Savall also told the radio show De Aca en Mas that the statue was based on the Charging Bull in New York’s Wall Street.
How have football fans reacted to the statue?
Marcelo Gallardo’s statue has attracted widespread attention on social media and a number of memes have been created regarding the huge bulge in the crotch area.
One fan wrote: “Gallardo is packing”
Another added: “Gallardo definitely deserves a statue. Not sure what is going on with that bulge though.”
Another commented: “Nothing quite like erecting a statue.”
The fun poked at Gallardo’s statue echoes the attention generated around previous statues including Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and singer Elvis Presley.