Almeyda steps aside at River Plate

Matias Almeyda stepped aside as River Plate coach Wednesday with
the famous Buenos Aires club struggling near the middle of the pack
in the Argentine first division.

Club President Daniel Passarella said the two had agreed on the
decision, although Almeyda left the impression he wanted to
stay.

Almeyda, a respected midfielder with the club, took over in June
2011 after River Plate was relegated to the second division for the
first time in its history. The demotion set off street fighting and
looting in and around River’s stadium.

Almeyda got River back into the first division this season, but
the club’s play suggests relegation could happen again.

”It is very painful for me that his (Almeyda’s) time has
ended,” said Passarella, a former River defender and captain of
Argentina’s 1978 World Cup winning team.

Almeyda first ran out for River in 1991 and played his final
game for the club last year. He has played in Spain and Italy with
long stints at three Italian clubs – Lazio, Parma and Inter Milan.
He has talked about his desire to coach one day in Italy.

Passarella said he would start talking on Thursday to possible
successors.