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Ricardo Alberto Gareca Nardi (Spanish pronunciation: [riˈkaɾðo alˈβeɾto ɣaˈɾeka ˈnaɾði]; born 10 February 1958), nicknamed el Tigre and el Flaco (in English: "Tiger" and "Slim"), is an Argentine football manager and former player. Currently he is the manager of the Peru national football team.

Ricardo Gareca
Ricardo Gareca DT.jpg
Gareca as Peru manager in 2017
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Alberto Gareca Nardi
Date of birth (1958-02-10) 10 February 1958 (age 61)
Place of birth Tapiales, Argentina
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Peru (manager)
Youth career
1977 Boca Juniors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1984 Boca Juniors 130 (64)
1981Sarmiento (loan) 33 (13)
1985 River Plate 12 (4)
1985–1988 América de Cali 53 (31)
1989–1992 Vélez Sarsfield 118 (24)
1993–1994 Independiente 41 (11)
Total 387 (147)
National team
1981–1986 Argentina 20 (5)
Teams managed
1996–1997 Talleres
1997 Independiente
1997–2000 Talleres
2000 Colón
2001 Talleres
2002 Quilmes
2003 Argentinos Juniors
2005 América de Cali
2006 Santa Fe
2006 Talleres
2007–2008 Universitario
2009–2013 Vélez Sarsfield
2014 Palmeiras
2015– Peru
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

During his playing career, Gareca played for four of the most important teams in Argentina (Boca Juniors, River Plate, Vélez Sársfield and Independiente). He also had a successful experience in Colombia with América de Cali, winning two league titles and being runner-up of three Copa Libertadores.

Since 1996, Gareca has worked as a manager. He has won one league title in Peru (with Universitario de Deportes) and three in Argentina (with Vélez Sarsfield); as well as a second division championship and a Copa CONMEBOL with Talleres de Córdoba.


Playing careerEdit


Gareca with Boca Juniors in 1980

Gareca started his professional career in 1978 with Boca Juniors, where he only played 16 games in his first three years with the club. In 1981, he was loaned out to Sarmiento for the 1981 Metropolitano, but he returned to Boca for the Nacional where he played alongside Diego Maradona, scoring 8 goals in the championship.

In 1985, Gareca earned the eternal hatred of many Boca fans for transferring directly to their fiercest rivals, River Plate, along with Oscar Ruggeri. Unlike Ruggeri, his time with River was short, as he joined soon América de Cali in Colombia later in 1985. Gareca won two league titles with América, in 1985 and 1986. He also had the misfortune of being on the losing side of the Copa Libertadores final three times in a row (1985, 1986 and 1987).

In 1989, Gareca returned to Argentina, where he played for Vélez Sársfield until 1992. In 1993, he joined Independiente for the last years of his career, making him one of a select band of players to have played for four of the most successful teams in Argentine football. Playing for Independiente he also won his first Argentine Primera División title, in the 1994 Clausura.

National teamEdit

Gareca made his debut for the Argentina national football team in 1981, playing against Poland. He went on to play 20 caps for his country, scoring 5 goals, including one against the team he is currently coaching, Peru, which eliminated the Peruvians from reaching the 1986 FIFA World Cup and had costed Peru into a World Cup drought for 36 years.[1]

Coaching careerEdit

Gareca started his managerial career with Talleres in 1996. In 1997, he left the club to take over at Independiente, but results were not forthcoming and he returned to Talleres later that year. Gareca led Talleres to the Primera B Nacional (Argentine second division) championship in 1997–98, which earned them promotion to the Primera División. In 1999, he led them to their first major title, the Copa CONMEBOL, making them the first team in Argentina from outside the Buenos Aires and Santa Fe provinces to win an international competition. In 2000, Gareca joined Colón de Santa Fe, but soon returned to Talleres for a third spell with the club.

In 2002, the former forward took over at Quilmes in the second division, and then in 2003 he became manager of Argentinos Juniors. Having led Argentinos to the brink of promotion, the club faced a playoff against Gareca's former team Quilmes, which they lost, missing out on promotion.

Gareca then teamed up with former teammate Oscar Ruggeri in 2004 to work as his field assistant at Elche in Spain. In 2005, he became manager of his former club, América de Cali, followed by a spell in charge of Independiente Santa Fe, both in Colombia.

In 2006, he returned for a fourth spell with Talleres, but couldn't prevent them from struggling in the Argentine second division. In October 2007, he became the manager of Peruvian Universitario, and in July 2008 he led the team to the Torneo Apertura title.

He returned to Argentina in 2009 to become manager of Vélez Sarsfield. In his first championship season with the club, he led them to the Clausura championship. Vélez lost only one of their 19 games throughout the championship. The 2010–11 season was a very successful one, as Gareca led Vélez to a runner-up finish in the Apertura, making a 43-points campaign (3 more than in their championship winning campaign of 2009), and to another championship in the Clausura. Gareca won his third league title with Vélez in 2012, helping the team obtain the 2012 Inicial.

On 21 May 2014, Gareca was announced as the new manager of Brazilian side Palmeiras, signing a contract until June 2015.[2] In February 2015 he was named the manager for the Peruvian national team. Taking over shortly before the Copa America, Gareca turned the struggling Peruvians around and led them to the semi-finals of the competition.

On 15 November 2017, Gareca led Peru to a 2–0 on aggregate victory against New Zealand, confirming their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, its first ever FIFA World Cup after 36 years absent. It had been described as the greatest irony of world's football, since Gareca himself had put Peru into a World Cup drought 36 years ago.[3]

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of 7 July 2019

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Universitario de Deportes   September 2007 December 2008 64 28 21 15 43.75
Vélez Sarsfield   January 2009 December 2013 168 91 41 36 54.17
Peru   February 2015 Present 62 27 15 20 043.55
Total 294 146 77 71 049.66


Personal lifeEdit

Gareca is a practising Roman Catholic.[4]


  1. ^ rsssf: Argentina international footballers Archived 5 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Ricardo Gareca é o novo técnico do Palmeiras" (in Portuguese). 21 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^

External linksEdit