Barcelona have appointed little-known Argentine coach Gerardo Martino to take over as their new first-team manager, with the former Newell's Old Boys manager signing a three-year deal with the club, reports Marca.
The coach who had recently left his position as Newell’s Old Boys head coach had emerged as one of the leading candidates to bag the most coveted managerial post in the football world, after the stepping down of Tito Vilanova due to his health problems.
According to the report, Martino will be bringing two of his regular assistants, Elvio Paolorroso and Jorge Pautasso, along with him to the Camp Nou.
Martino, who was on holiday with his family when Barcelona first contacted him, had been linked with various clubs over the summer, with Real Sociedad, Malaga, Santos being the notable names.
Nicknamed ‘Tata’, Martino was born in Rosario and played mostly for Newell’s Old Boys as a midfielder and holds the record of the highest number of appearances for the club at 505 in all official competitions. He was also selected as Newell’s best player in their history in a fan’s poll.
As a coach, Martino spent most of his career in Paraguay, achieving considerable success with his clubs. He had won the Paraguayan league consecutively four times from 2002 to 2006. Due to his knowledge and success, he was given the role of national head coach of Paraguay towards the end of 2006.
Under his leadership, Paraguay qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and reached the quarter-finals only to be eliminated by Spain by the margin of 1-0. They also reached the final of the 2011 Copa America but were beaten to the throne by Uruguay.
Known for his advocacy of the passing game, the Argentine revealed in an interview with Marca last month that he admired Barcelona’s tiki-taka style of play.
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