Yesterday, Marcelo Gallardo participated in an online chat on ESPNdeportes.com. We've translated his answers from Spanish to English.. lots of good stuff here. Enjoy.
ESPNdeportes.com: (3:43 PM ET ) Welcome to the chatroom and thanks for joining us. In a few minutes we’ll be talking to Marcelo Gallardo of D.C. United on various subjects, including D.C. United, MLS, Argentina and his stint in European soccer. Send in your questions now!
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:04 PM ET ) I want to say hi to all joining this chat.
Tomas Deza, Silver Spring, Maryland: Muñecooo, my name is Tomás, I’m 15 years old and I’m from Tucuman. I’ve always been a fan of yours and now that you’re playing and living less than an hour from my home I couldn’t be happier. Good luck with everything!! Ohhh and I almost forgot the question. Honestly, do you find MLS soccer easier than the other leagues you’ve played in?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:05 PM ET ) No, the level of play in the MLS surprised me. It’s underestimated in other countries, especially in South American and Europe, but so far I haven’t found it easy.
Alberto, Santiago, Chile: Hey Marcelo, it’s a pleasure to speak to one of the ultimate River icons. How have you felt playing in the MLS? What was the biggest happiness you’ve experienced as a River player? Thanks for all the great memories you’ve given River fans.
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:06 PM ET ) As a River player, I lived many happy moments, as well as sad moments, but the chance to play and win the championship which I was lucky to do with the club I love, the club I grew up with, is one of the best momentos the River jersey gave me. In the MLS I feel better, I’m getting to know the league better and getting used to it very well.
Román, Merlo: Marcelo, we miss you over here. We want to see you in River and we hope you can be back soon. Do you think you’ll come back? How do you see River lately?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:08 PM ET ) Honestly, I always get asked that question and I say I never left River. Even though I’m not physically there, I think I’m always there, for the good times and the bad. I always follow it, I have friends there and I know how they’re doing. It’s hard to let go and I hope that in the last three matches we can get the opportunity to be the champion.
Cristian Miami, Florida: How are you doing Marcelo? After a seemigly radical change, have you been able to get used to the way of life in Washington? Do you like the city and what don’t you like? Good luck.
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:10 PM ET ) Yes, I like the city. So far I’ve been adjusting and I feel good. It was a change, a good experiencia and I’m living it. In the future I’ll see if it was a positive one or not.
Hugo Madrid, Tegucigalpa: Hey Marcelo, how are you? Tell me, would you like to play for Boca Juniors?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:11 PM ET ) No. I have a lot of respect for so I’m not going to say no flat out. I say no but with respect.
Oscar, San José, Costa Rica: Why do you think there are so many great Argentine soccer players in the MLS yet they’re not called up to the national team?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:14 PM ET ) Really, the Argentinian soccer players are doing very well, but for many of us this is a new market. Not only for us Argentines but for the foreigners, this is a young league, very new. It may be that in a few years it will grow to a level where it will be considered. It’s underestimated because they don’t see it. It’s hard if they don’t see it.
Tito Mora, New York: I’m from Ecuador, but I like Argentina’s national team. How do you see the team for the Olympics? Can you take the title? What do you think of the match with Brazil for the qualifiers?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:16 PM ET ) Mainly I think Argentina has a very good Olympic team, with good players and many chances with a good team, but we have to take into consideration that they haven’t played many matches, even though they have great chances because they have some great players. Brazil vs. Argentina is always a match that is very hard fought, for what it means. It will be very competitive as they always are.
Sergio, Santa Cruz, Bolivia: Marcelo, what do you think about your D.C. United teammate Jaime Moreno?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:18 PM ET ) Jaime, I met him when I first got here, he’s the all-time goalscoring leader in the league and deserves a lot of respect and he’s a very good person. He has welcomed me into the team. I hope we can put together our experience to help the team move forward
Oscar Espinosa, Tampico, Mexico: How’s it going Muñeco? If you had the chance to bring in to D.C. any player to help you with the attack, who would that be? Maybe a good friend of yours from River or from the national team?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:19 PM ET ) There would be several but that wouldn’t be my decision. Obviously if they want to give me a say, I’d have an opinion because there are a lot of good Argentinian players that would love to have this experience. (D.C. United’s Hispanic Relations Director Boris Flores says on the phone he’d want Batistuta)
Jorge Raul, Caracas, Venezuela: Hey Marcelo, how did you feel living in Monaco? I was there two years ago and it seemed amazing, although quite expensive.
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:21 PM ET) I think the same haha. It’s a very nice place, a paradise. I was lucky enough to play and live there. I have friends there and good memories. The first day there I was in awe, it’s very impressive, but then I got used to living there in the city because it’s very small, and you get used to it, but it’s very expensive.
Mario Ferrero Cd de México: Hey Marcelo. How do you see the qualifiers for South Africa in North and South America? Who’s your favorite for the Olympics?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:23 PM ET ) I don’t think it will be very different in Concacaf, the strongest teams are Mexico, the US and maybe some other. I don’t know how Costa Rica and Honduras are doing, two countries that are always fighting. In South America, Argentina and Brasil are always candidates, Perú, Colombia and Uruguay, are others but it’s very competitive. There are few countries but they’re all good. There will be many interesting matches. Chile with Bielsa is dangerous so we’ll see what happens.
Jesus , Mexico: Would you like to play in Mexico?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:24 PM ET ) At some point I would have liked to, it’s a country I would have liked to play in. I had a chance but for some reason it didn’t pan out. I’ve always thought it’s a championship that has evolved greatly. It’s very competitive and one of the countries I love to visit and vacation in.
Mariano, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Why did you leave River? Would you like to come back and play with Ortega and el Enano? What do you think about el Cholo?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:28 PM ET ) Like I said before, I never left. I never felt like I left. I’ve never closed any door. I think you should live for the moment and enjoy it fully. When I decide to make a change, I do it quickly and completely. Now I’m here and I’m doing well but tomorrow who knows. I still have several years of play left but you never know. El Cholo is in his first years as coach, and once we were teammates and I can say he’s very passionate. You knew he’d end up being the coach. He’s just starting out, he’s in River, a big team, a big ship hard to maneuver, fighting for the championship, he got eliminated from the cup so we’ll see if he can recover and I really hope they can.
Oscar Espinosa (Tampico Mexico): Tell me, how did it go at PSG? Which players do you get along with the best in D.C.?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:30 PM ET ) In Paris it was a so-so experience, good and bad. When I was leaving River I thought it was time to have a European experience again. To a country I already knew, a big team and a coach that liked me. But 15 or 20 days into it, they fired the coach and brought in a new one who had his players. I played the first three months but I didn’t factor into his system and decided to leave, even though I had a year and a half left on my contract. I came to the US, even though I had other offers because it seemed like a great experience.
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:31 PM ET ) I get along well with all my teammates. I try to adapt to the different mentalities, ways of living, eating, I don’t have a problem with that. Because of the language barrier I get along better with the Latin players than the Americans but I’d like to learn English because I’d like to be able to relate to them better.
Jorge, Pto la Cruz, Venezuela: Marcelo, first of all thank you for taking your time to answer our questions. My question for you is the following, after having played in a team with international renown like River Plate in Argentina and having European experience, how do you balance personal adaptation to the MLS? Did you think it was going to be easy, difficult?
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:33 PM ET ) Until now, from what I’ve seen and heard and from talking to people, the MLS is a league that is developing and growing, and it has a lot of potential but it can develop a lot more as a championship. People are staring to get into it. It has to reach out to the international market a bit more and no close itself off with it’s own rules if it wants to have a positive evolution, but they’re heading in the right direction. I see potential so that in 5 or 6 years it will be a competitive league in world soccer.
Marcelo Gallardo: (4:34 PM ET ) I’d like to say hello to everyone and thank you for coming and participating in this chat. Warm wishes to all of you.
ESPNdeportes.com: (4:35 PM ET ) Thank you for joining us in this chat with Marcelo Gallardo. Don’t forget to watch him on ESPN TV on Thursday for the match between D.C. United and the New England Revolution. For more information on the MLS, keep tuned to ESPNdeportes.com.