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."
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
After a miserable Champions League defeat to Olympiakos, CNN's John Sinnott wonders if Manchester United is officially in trouble.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
CNN's David Ford analyzes the changing face of Manchester City since Barcelona's last visit to the English club 11 years ago.
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
A ruling that Polish fans will not face legal action after anti-Semitic chanting sparks debate over whether it signals acceptance of such attacks.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
If FIFA really cared about gay rights, why did it give the World Cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal, asks CNN's James Masters.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
Today's five most popular stories