Barcelona: Gerardo Martino replaces Tito Vilanova as manager
Last updated on .From the section Football
Barcelona have appointed Argentine Gerardo Martino as their new coach after he agreed a two-year contract.
The 50-year-old former Paraguay boss replaces Tito Vilanova, who stepped down as Barcelona manager to continue his treatment for cancer.
He was recently in charge of Newell's Old Boys, who he led to the Argentine Torneo final title last season.
Details of his arrival in Barcelona and official presentation by the Spanish champions will be announced on Tuesday.
He becomes the fourth Argentine to manage Barca after Helenio Herrera, Roque Olsen and Cesar Luis Menotti.
It will be Martino's first job outside of South America since a six-month spell playing for Tenerife in 1991.
A number of coaches had been linked to the vacant position, including former Barcelona B boss Luis Enrique, Tottenham's Andre Villas-Boas, Swansea's Michael Laudrup and Guus Hiddink, who quit as coach of Anzhi Makhachkala on Monday.
However, the Catalan club have ignored more high-profile candidates in favour of Martino, who is considered to have a similar style to former Athletic Bilbao manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Martino was a key player in the Newell's Old Boys side Bielsa managed in the early 1990s and both hail from the Argentine city of Rosario.
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol says Martino's managerial style will fit in with the playing philosophy at the Nou Camp.
"We know about his career, he is a very good coach," Puyol said before Martino's appointment was confirmed.
"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 Zubi (sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta) and the directors want a coach that can adapt to our characteristics."
Manchester Utd eschewed high profile managers for David Moyes
Liverpool went for Brendan Rodgers
So there is at least some teams employing managers based on character and potential good fit for the club.
I would like to see the top English clubs do the same and give a chance to an English manager instead of always going for the high-profile foreigner.
Or is that something that only happens in England?
When you do a McNulty speculation piece keep the limits as all that's posted is who spent what/who has the 'history'/who's got no class etc ad nauseum by the same tired lot.
My choice would have been Marcelo Bielsa but Martino is one of the best managers in South America so Barcelona look to have made a shrewd move. Martino isnt on £10m per year like some other managers who are extremely confrontational. Martino is a gent and believes in attacking football. Good luck.
Your team are playing atm you know, but of course you're not watching, you're on the BBC forums talking about Liverpool, typical.
But Barca have been pretty dominant on the domestic and European stage for at least the last 9 or 10 years. So I don't expect them to suddenly decline, especially with the signing of Neymar.
best wishes to Vilonova and hope he has a enjoyable rest from the game
An interesting idea. Worthy of a silver plate if not a trophy so it is not seen as the same status as the Premiership trophy? Would give all teams, especially those in the lower half of the league at Christmas, something to aim for in the new year.
Any thoughts anybody?