BUENOS AIRES - Reinaldo Merlo, one of Argentina's most well-travelled and superstitious coaches, has quit at struggling Rosario Central after only five games. Merlo, known as Mustard because of the colour of his hair and famous for his 'little horns' gesture which he believes brings him luck, said he had left because of criticism from midfielder Ezequiel Gonzalez. "Since then, something has broken," Merlo said in a radio interview on Tuesday. "I didn't feel comfortable in the dressing room." The 58-year-old's coaching career has taken him to Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia as well as six clubs in his homeland. When the opposition is awarded a free kick near his team's penalty area, Merlo places his fist behind his back and leaves two fingers outstretched in gesture known locally as 'little horns'. With 10 games left, Central are 17th in the relegation standings, which would condemn them to a play-off against a second division side. Relegation is decided over three seasons in Argentina.
14 April 2009
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