November 18, 2009

Ricardo Lavolpe is out at Atlas. The fiery Argentine manager was sacked by the Guadalajara club on Tuesday. Lavolpe lasted less than two full seasons at the helm of los Rojinegros.

Club officials announced their decision to sack the former Mexican national-team coach a day after he was reportedly supposed to have met his fate. Instead, Monday came and went and Lavolpe's future was publicly still in doubt.

"The decision has been made unanimously to not allow him to continue the work the Argentine manager started," the club said in a statement. "As of this day, he is no longer in charge of Atlas."

Atlas sacked Dario Franco three games into the Clausura 2009 season and turned to Lavolpe, who instantly turned things around. Atlas went on a 5-0-4 unbeaten streak at one point but narrowly missed out on the Liguilla.

With high hopes of reaching the playoffs at the start of the Apertura 2009 season, Atlas instead were miserable throughout the season. Atlas finished with a 5-9-3 record and scored just 14 goals -- three of which came in the last game of the season, a meaningless 3-2 win at Jaguares.

The firing was no surprise to Lavolpe, who is reportedly in Europe on vacation.

"The truth is he's known for about a week," club president Carlos Martin del Campo was quoted in Esto. "I told him that it would be very difficult for him to continue and now that decision has been ratified [by the board] and we're going to continue for the well-being of Atlas."

Lavolpe led Atlas at the turn of the century, guiding the club from 1997 to 2001. He managed the Mexican national team from 2002 through the 2006 World Cup, where he led El Tricolor to the second round.

Following the World Cup, he returned to Argentina where he led Boca Juniors and Velez Sarsfield before returning to Mexico to manage Monterrey.

This time around, though, he alienated some of the club's star players. Bruno Marioni and Jorge Achucarro were each sent packing and each had negative things to say about Lavolpe, who apparently ran both out of the club.

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