24th of July 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Barcelona have appointed Argentine Gerardo Martino as their new coach after he signed a two-year contract. The 50-year-old former Paraguay boss replaces Tito Vilanova, who resigned as Barcelona manager to continue his treatment for cancer. Martino was recently in charge of Newell's Old Boys, who he led to the Argentine Torneo final title last season.
He becomes the fourth Argentine coach to manage Barca after Helenio Herrera, Roque Olsen and Cesar Luis Menotti. This will be Martino's first job as a manager outside of South America. As a player he managed to play for six months for Spanish club Tenerife back in 1991.
A vast number of coaches had been linked to the vacant position, including Luis Enrique, Tottenham's Andre Villas-Boas, Swansea's Michael Laudrup and Guus Hiddink, who quit as coach of Anzhi Makhachkala on Monday. Barcelona have decided to ignore the more high-profile candidates in favour of Martino, who is considered to have a similar playing style to former Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol says Martino's coaching style fits perfectly with the playing philosophy at the Nou Camp. "We know about his career, he is a very good coach," Puyol said. "He likes Barcelona's playing style. I think all the names mentioned are capable of coaching this team. We have a certain way of playing; a philosophy. The coach that comes in will follow that line and I'm sure that sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and the directors want a coach that can adapt to our characteristics."
Barcelona are 4/6 to win the La Liga title in the new season at Bet365 while they are priced at 7/2 to win the 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League trophy.
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