Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Spain

Gerardo Martino © Action Images

Messi influenced my hiring - Martino



Gerardo Martino believes a recommendation from fellow Argentine Lionel Messi was behind his surprise appointment as Barcelona coach on Monday.

"The details of how the situation developed I don't know (but) I have no doubt Jorge (Messi's father) and Lionel had some influence," Martino, the former Paraguay coach, told a news conference in Rosario.

"I'm sure they were asked their opinion and we've come to this outcome," added the 50-year-old, who comes from Rosario like the Messis.

Martino, who led Newell's Old Boys to the Argentine "Final" championship last month, added: "I was expecting some job proposals and I can't say I was expecting this one.

"The situation was unexpected and of course it took me by surprise," added Martino, who quit Newell's after they lost their Libertadores Cup semifinal two weeks ago.

Barcelona went in search of a new coach after Tito Vilanova had to step aside to undergo more treatment for throat cancer.

"This is a very important job opportunity which came about due to a very unfortunate occurrence (Vilanova's illness)," Martino said.

"I'm very grateful they considered me, my staff and my work. The quality of the Barcelona squad, with Lio, is something any coach desires.

"I'm sure in our day-to-day (work) we'll find ways to support (Messi) so he continues to be the extraordinary player he is."

Martino, who will travel to Barcelona on Thursday, said he hoped to be up to the high demands of coaching one of the world's best club sides.

"We'll try to fit in quickly... Barcelona is an institution that has a way of life, a footballing development. We are the ones who are going to step into that world."

One of Martino's staff is Adrian Coria, the man credited with discovering and coaching Messi from the age of 11 to 13 at Newell's.

Martino misses Barcelona's friendly on Wednesday against European champions Bayern Munich, now under the Spanish giants' former coach Pep Guardiola.

Saturday's friendly with Norway's Valerenga in Oslo could be his debut on the bench.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Chima Emmanuel Aguma
The diamond is United's best friend
United’s recent spending raised questions on how the players would fit in to an XI. They were...

Neil Tovey
A striking concern
After Bafana Bafana drew a blank against Nigeria in Cape Town last week, our national striking woes...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref’s decisions to be challenged?
I read recently that Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, the current Fifa president, is considering a move which...

Segun Odegbami
Worried, frustrated, angry and excited
Let me state it up front - I am worried, frustrated, angry and exited, all at once!

Carol Radull
Was Arsenal playing football?
What on earth was that? What was that game Arsenal were playing in Germany on Tuesday night?

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The pressure is on at Man United
By the time the summer transfer window closed in Europe, Manchester United had spent heavily. Times...