UEFA Europa League challengers Real Betis Balompié have named former player Gabriel Calderón as their new coach after dismissing Juan Carlos Garrido just ten games into his reign.
Garrido was appointed to replace Pepe Mel on 3 December but oversaw just two victories in all competitions, with his side succumbing 5-0 at home to Real Madrid CF on Saturday – a result that left them five points adrift at the bottom of the Liga. "[Real Betis] would like to thank Juan Carlos Garrido and his staff for their work and dedication during the past months and wish the coach all the best in the future," read a statement from the club.
The Sevilla side moved swiftly to name a successor, unveiling Calderón as their coach until the end of the season, though the 53-year-old's contract includes the option of a further term should he maintain their top-flight status. Capped 23 times by Argentina, the former midfielder represented Betis between 1983 and 1987 before joining Paris Saint-Germain, and described his return to the Verdiblancos as "a dream".
"I've come here filled with hope and convinced we can turn the current situation around," said Calderón, who most recently held the reins of Bahrain's national team and has previously coached the likes of SM Caen, FC Lausanne-Sport, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Betis face FC Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on 20 and 27 February.
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