Four days after the enforced departure of Tito Vilanova, FC Barcelona have confirmed the appointment of Gerardo 'Tata' Martino as coach.
Vilanova stepped down on Friday after suffering a further setback in his recovery from throat cancer. The 44-year-old had only been sporadically at the helm since Josep Guardiola's exit at the end of the 2011/12 campaign. Vilanova's replacement is Martino, 50, who has signed a two-year contract.
Martino arrives from CA Newell's Old Boys in his Argentinian homeland, where he won the national Clausura title last season. A former attacking midfielder who played in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Spain (with CD Tenerife), Martino spent five years in charge of the Paraguay national team between 2006 and 2011, taking them to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Born in Rosario, the same city as Lionel Messi, Martino comes to Europe with a reputation for playing a brand of football synonymous with the Spanish Liga champions. He is set to be presented to the media in the coming days. The Azulgrana will begin their bid for a fifth UEFA Champions League title in the group stage. The draw is made in Monaco on Thursday 29 August.
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