Martino appointed new Barcelona coach
July 23, 2013 -- Updated 1030 GMT (1830 HKT)
Gerardo Martino has signed a two-year deal at Barcelona after agreeing to replace former coach Tito Vilanova.
New man at Camp Nou
Vilanova fights on
From Barca to Bayern
New man at Camp Nou
- Gerardo Martino appointed as new manager of Barcelona
- Martino has signed a two-year deal at Camp Nou
- Has previously managed Newell's Old Boys and Paraguay national team
- Replaces Tito Vilanova who left his role to continue his fight against cancer
(CNN) -- Gerardo "Tata" Martino's the name -- and putting Barcelona back at the top of Europe's elite is the game.
Martino, 50, signed a two-year deal with the Spanish champions Tuesday after agreeing a move to Camp Nou to replace the recently departed Tito Vilanova.
The Argentine, who hails from Rosario, the same city as Barca star Lionel Messi, led Newell's Old Boys to the Clausura last season as well as to the semifinal stage of the Copa Libertadores.
Messi has been outspoken in his praise of Martino in the past and is likely to welcome the arrival of his fellow countryman.
Speaking to Olé last year, Messi said: "I like Martino, he's an amazing coach and you could see in the Clausura what he did for the team, the manner in which he finished and how he achieved it.
Carlos Tevez: Man City pressure too much
Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home
Football continues as Brazilians protest
"He found the team, he made it play well and everyone respects him."
Martino has spent much of his career coaching in Paraguay where he won four domestic titles during his time with Libertda and Cerro Porteno.
He led the Paraguay national team to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where it was beaten by eventual champion Spain, while it also qualified for the final of the Copa America 12 months later.
Martino has won praise from fellow Argentine Messi in the past and is a disciple of former Atletico Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Read: Vilanova steps down as Barcelona coach
Martino replaces Vilanova, who stood down as coach earlier in July after revealing he required further treatment in his fight against cancer.
Vilanova, 44, led Barcelona to the La Liga title last season after taking over from Pep Guardiola in June 2012 despite originally being diagnosed with throat cancer in November 2011.
The Spaniard missed nearly three months of last season while undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy in New York before returning in March to help the club claim the title.
But defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals put an end to the dream of a prestigious double.
Vilanova had hoped to preside over another season but his ill health meant that he was unable to continue.
"It was a very hard blow," Barcelona captain Carles Puyol told a press conference when asked about Vilanova's departure.
"Nobody expected it. The team has been left very affected. The news we have received is very difficult, but this is an illness and the person is the most important.
"Tito is very much in the thoughts of those in the dressing room. He spoke to us and calmed us. He asked us to continue to fight as he would do."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.