Gato Romero has now started work as head coach.
Gato Romero has now started work as head coach. / Salvador Salas

Romero, appointed by the sheikh

  • The Uruguayan, who is in his third season with the team, has been selected as head coach for an indefinite period following the departure of Juande Ramos

In the end, when the 'white smoke' did appear at Malaga CF, it brought with it an enormous and unexpected surprise. In fact, there was almost shock when the announcement was made that Marcelo 'Gato' Romero had been appointed as the new head coach.

The plans, the lists, the characteristics which had been carefully drawn-up by the club with regard to the new coach had all been for nothing, when it became apparent that this young man, who has practically no experience, was the new head coach for an indefinite period.

Malaga CF needed a new head coach after Juande Ramos resigned last week. Romero, known in his playing days as 'El Gato', has the advantage of knowing the club both as a player and as a coach; the players know how he works because until this new appointment he was the assistant coach.

The 40-year-old Uruguayan is now in his third year with Malaga: he was second coach under Javi Gracia for two years, and was kept on the staff as assistant coach under Juande Ramos, while the second coach job was occupied by José Gómez, who has also left Malaga. Sergio Pellicer has been promoted to take his place.

All the work the club had done towards finding a new head coach changed at the last minute. The sheikh wasn't keen on any of the names suggested to him, ranging from Rubi to Óscar García and Sergio González. Nor could he get hold of some of the names he did like the sound of, because his ideas tend to be very complicated and expensive. He didn't want the B-team coach, Manuel Ruano, either, and even commented on social media that he ought to stay where he was.

So, the sheikh had no alternative but to look for a rapid solution, choosing a member of the present technical team to take over on a temporary basis. That is why he opted for Marcelo Romero, a former footballer from the first team.

A prize

This job is a prize for Romero, who was forced to gradually retire from playing football due to injury. His coaching experience is, however, limited, apart from a short period with Alhaurín de la Torre. Now he will have the chance to head an important team.