Camp Nou

Next Game

Barcelona v Bay Munich

Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 19:45

Champions League Semi-Final

Last Game

Cordoba 0 - 8 Barcelona

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 15:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Iniesta happy with Martino

Midfielder Andres Iniesta has backed Barcelona's appointment of Gerardo Martino as their new coach.

Last Updated: 23/07/13 at 17:00 Post Comment

Andres Iniesta: Looking forward to working with Gerardo Martino

Andres Iniesta: Looking forward to working with Gerardo Martino

The Spanish champions confirmed today they had reached an agreement for Martino to take over the reins at the Nou Camp on a two-year deal.

The 50-year-old Argentinian succeeds Tito Vilanova, who stepped down from the role on Friday after one season in charge as he continues his battle with cancer.

Martino has a reputation as an attack-minded coach and Barca midfielder Iniesta believes he will fit in with the Catalan club's football philosophy.

"Whatever the club decide is the best for Barca. I think he will fit in with our model," Iniesta told Marca while at a promotional event

"If the club have decided on him, then he's the ideal coach for us."

While Martino spent a short spell with Spanish side Tenerife as a player, he has never before coached a European side but he has masterminded some notable achievements during a 15-year career as a manager in South America.

At club level, he led Newell's Old Boys to last season's Argentinian Clausura title, while he also won various trophies with Club Libertad and Cerro Porteno in Paraguay.

He also enjoyed a hugely successful four-year spell in charge of Paraguay, guiding them to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup and the final of the 2011 Copa America.

Paraguay had never before gone beyond the last 16 of the World Cup in their history while the last time they made the Copa America final was in 1979.

Paraguay's run at the 2010 World Cup was halted by eventual winners Spain - a match Iniesta played in.

Iniesta added: "It's a good decision. I know him from the match in the World Cup in South Africa. He seems a good coach.

"The club wouldn't have gone for a coach who doesn't fit in as they have clear ideas about that they want.

"Every season we have to have high hopes of winning titles."

A host of coaches were linked to the vacant position with Barca, including Luis Enrique, Andre Villas-Boas, Marcelo Bielsa, Michael Laudrup and Guus Hiddink, who yesterday resigned as coach of Anzhi Makhachkala.

However, Martino emerged as the favourite over the weekend and the former Argentina midfielder was today confirmed as Barca's next boss.

"FC Barcelona have reached an agreement to appoint Gerardo Martino as the new coach of the football team for the next two seasons. This agreement is pending the drafting and signing of the contract," a statement on fcbarcelona.cat read.

"In the coming hours [a programme will be planned for] his arrival in Barcelona, signing the contract and the subsequent presentation."

The news of Martino's impending arrival is sure to go down well with Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who has spoken in glowing terms about his compatriot in the past.

The two men both hail from Rosario and, speaking a year ago, Messi told Diario Ole: "I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach... He gets his teams playing well and we all respect him."

Martino, who as a player represented local club Newell's in three different spells while also turning out for Lanus in his homeland, Barcelona SC in Ecuador and O'Higgins in Chile, becomes the fourth Argentinian to coach Barca, following in the footsteps of Helenio Herrera, Roque Olsen and Cesar Luis Menotti.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

aybe Hull charged the Liverpool fans more because their massive sense of entitlement takes up more room? Badum tish.

sailingmagpie
Everton team subsidise awayday

T

he John Carver Experiment sounds like the worst jazz fusion band of all time. Which is saying something.

sailingmagpie
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

T

ime to play Liverpool players in their natural positions? I agree, but surely the subs' bench isn't big enough for all of them?

balls-to-monty
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

Footer 365

Manchester United 0-1 West Brom: Robin van Persie penalty saved as Baggies shock United

Chris Brunt's deflected free kick gave West Brom a 1-0 win at Manchester United as Robin van Persie saw a penalty saved.

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand loses wife to cancer

Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca has died following a short battle with cancer.

Arsene Wenger claims Jose Mourinho disrespected Arsenal with title taunt

Arsene Wenger feels Jose Mourinho was disrespectful for taunting Arsenal about their 10-year wait for the title.

Mail Box

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

Liverpool: No Greater Than Aston Villa

It's fair to say that Raúl H. Garcia from the morning mailbox has got something of a kicking on Thursday afternoon. Oh and the Neviller is wrong for once...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company