Gerardo Martino resigns from Barcelona

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Gerard Martino has stepped down as manager of Barcelona after just one season at the Nou Camp.

The Argentine announced his decision shortly after Barca surrendered their La Liga title to Atletico Madrid.

"In agreement with the club I am no longer the coach," Martino said.

"I deeply regret not having achieved the goals that this club has always been set and achieved.

"These are great players. My greatest gratitude goes to the players. They have made me proud."

Barca legend Luis Enrique resigned from his role as manager of Celta Vigo earlier this week and is being tipped as a hot favourite to replace him.

After joining the Catalan giants only last summer, Martino has endured a fairly inconsistent 10 months in the hot seat with the Spanish Super Cup providing his only silverware.

His first match in charge came against Levante on the opening day of the season, with his side winning 7-0. This started a run of eight consecutive league victories.

He also won his first Clasico against Real Madrid 2-1 on his way to becoming the first Barca coach to go unbeaten through his first 16 games as manager in all competitions.

Having been top of La Liga from day one, they lost top spot for the first time on February 1 following a 3-2 defeat to Valencia.

A 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad three weeks later meant that they permanently surrendered their place at the summit, and a second loss in three games at Real Valladolid saw them slip to third.

Five straight wins saw them bounce back up to second in an extremely close-fought battle with Atletico and Real Madrid, who beat Barca in the Champions League quarter-finals and Copa del Ray final respectively.

But another loss this time at Granada would prove costly as Atletico were embarking on a nine-match winning streak at the time.

With Diego Simeone’s men dropping points in their penultimate games, Martino’s side failed to capitalise as they could only draw with Getafe and Elche.

The distance was three points going into the final showdown of the season and having played out a goalless draw in January, a win would be enough for Barca to retain their title on the head-to-head rule.

But Alexis Sanchez’s first-half strike was cancelled out by Diego Godin’s 49th-minute header to give Los Rojiblancos the title.

It would prove to be the last match at the helm for the 51-year-old, whose coaching career has mainly evolved with a host of clubs in his native Argentina.

He enjoyed international experience as he led Paraguay to the last eight of the 2010 World Cup as well as the final of the 2011 Copa America.

His playing career had also spanned across his home nation. This included three separate spells with Newell’s Old Boys where he amassed a club record 505 appearances in all competitions, as well being voted the club’s greatest ever player in a fan’s poll.

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