Appearing above Marcelo Gallardo at the South American level is currently one of the most difficult tasks to achieve. However, for the first time in the last four years; the newspaper El País, which at the end of each season distributes prizes to the most outstanding personalities of the continent, presented the award for the best coach to someone other than River Plate’s technical director. After winning two consecutive Libertadores Cups with Palmeiras, Abel Ferreira del Palmeiras was considered the outstanding manager of 2021.
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As always, the popular vote of specialists and colleagues was necessary to decide the winners. In this case, Gallardo was in second position with 71 votes, below the Portuguese, who collected a total of 77, marking how close and even the battle was. In addition, third place went to Lionel Scaloni for his performance in the Copa América 2021, where he broke a 28-year drought without major titles for the Argentine team and which generated 43 voters.
Ferreira cuts an impressive streak of the three-year-old Doll: he was selected in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Marcelo remains in the second historical link of the award only below Carlos Bianchi, who was crowned five times: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003. In addition, he shares a position with José Pekerman who was elected in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Beyond the conquest of the 2019 Argentine Super Cup, the 2021 Professional League and the Champions Trophy by Gallardo, the impressive work of Abel Ferreira in command of Palmeiras, achieving the two-time championship in the Copa Libertadores, beating Flamengo in the final were enough scrolls to win the vote. It is worth remembering that Verdao shared the group stage with Defensa y Justicia, Independiente del Valle and Univesitario de Perú and then eliminated Universidad Católica in the round of 16, San Pablo in the quarterfinals and Atlético Mineiro in the semifinal.
Argentina was the country with the most coaches voted by journalists on the continent with six, followed by Brazil (2), and finally Peru, Portugal and Uruguay with one coach each per nation.
THE FINAL TABLE OF THE BEST DT OF THE YEAR
1. Abel Ferreira (Portugal) 77 Votes – 36%
2. Marcelo Gallardo (Argentina) 71 Votes – 33.5%
3. Lionel Scaloni (Argentina) 43 Votes – 20%
4. Tite (Brazil) 8 Votes – 4%
5. Cuca (Brazil) 7 Votes – 3%
6. Juan Pablo Vojvoda (Argentina) 2 Votes – 1%
7. Gustavo Alfaro (Argentina) 1 Vote – 0.5%
Ricardo Gareca (Argentina) 1 Vote – 0.5%
Fabián Bustos (Argentina) 1 Vote – 0.5%
Paulo Pezzolano (Uruguay) 1 Vote – 0.5%
Juan Reynoso (Peru) 1 Vote – 0.5%