Artemio Franchi

Next Game

Fiorentina v Barcelona

Sunday, 02 August 2015, 20:00

Int Champs Cup North America

FedExField

Last Game

Chelsea 2 - 2 Barcelona

Wednesday, 29 July 2015, 01:00

Int Champs Cup North America

Martino: Messi played a part

Gerardo Martino believes fellow Argentinian Lionel Messi had a say in his appointment as the new Barcelona coach.

Last Updated: 24/07/13 at 06:27 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Credits Messi for helping him land Barca coach job

Gerardo Martino: Credits Messi for helping him land Barca coach job

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 former Paraguay boss succeeds Tito Vilanova, who stepped down from the role on Friday after one season in charge as he continues his battle with cancer.

Both Martino and Messi are from the Rosario region of Argentina and the four-time Ballon d'Or winner has spoken in glowing terms about his compatriot in the past.

And Martino reckons Messi put in a good word for him with the Barcelona hierarchy.

"I don't know the details of the situation, (but) I have no doubts that Messi spoke with the club directors. I'm sure that Jorge (Messi's father) and Leo have had some weight in this decision," Martino said in a press conference in Rosario on Tuesday evening.

"They've given their opinion and we've arrived at this end.

"How much weight their opinions held in the decision I don't know but I'm grateful."

He added: "To coach Barca us an extremely important opportunity. I'm very grateful that Barcelona have gone for me and my coaching team."

A host of managers were linked to the vacant position with the Spanish champions, 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 on Tuesday confirmed as Barca's new boss, subject to the drafting and signing of his contract with the Catalan club.

Martino, who led Newell's Old Boys to the Argentinian Clausura title last season but recently severed ties with the club, admits Barca's approach had caught him off guard.

"Of course it took me by surprise," he said.

"I had virtually prepared myself to take a break and wait for the right job opportunity to arise."

Looking ahead to his new life in Spain, Martino said: "It's a big challenge to join a club of this magnitude and to try and do a good job. As with every big club, I want our team to be serious candidates to win every competition.

"We understand the institution that were going to, its history, how they have a defined style, and we are the ones who must insert ourselves into that and see how we can make our contribution to a squad that is very good and which has done great things in recent years.

"I don't know when I'll take charge of my first match, first I must adapt and finish with the contractual matters."

Martino also denied there will be an option in his contract which would free him to take over national team duties with Argentina, saying: "I don't put clauses in my contracts."

Martino has a reputation as an attack-minded coach and Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta believes he will fit in with the 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 today

"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 enjoyed success during a 15-year career as a manager in South America.

At club level, aside from last season's title with Newell's, 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 that Paraguayan national team, 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 while the last time they made the Copa America final was in 1979.

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

I

t's a bloody good goal, though. Sh!t, the kid's gonna be the worlds best before we know it, isn't he? He's got the touch of genius in him. Like Neymar, but with muscles and stuff. He's doing a Ronaldo as we watch. He's bulked up to be able to ride the tackles, but he's improved technically as well. His touch is sublime. Bugger.

HarryBoulton
WATCH: Hazard's stunning goal

A

hhh, Jose arguing with another managers wife, clearest sign yet that we are going mental during the close season. I am rocking back and forth on my haunches.

hump3.
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

I

t's only a matter of time before one of them throws in a yo mamma

lee
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

Footer 365

Real reopen talks over £28m De Gea deal

Real Madrid have reportedly reopened negotiations with Manchester United over David de Gea and may complete a deal in the coming days.

Muller has a job for life at Bayern

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels that Thomas Muller 'will never leave ' Bayern Munich and has offered the forward a job for life at the club.

Jose Mourinho: Rafael Benitez destroyed Inter Milan and his wife should take care of his diet

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Rafael Benitez’s wife, saying her husband 'destroyed' Inter Milan and she should take care of his diet.

Mail Box

Mails: Let's Talk About Jose's Failures...

We don't talk about them because Chelsea won the title...but imagine if LVG or Brendan Rodgers had signed Juan Cuadrado. Plus, a trawl through the squads...

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

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