Skip to main content

New manager Martino lays out his ambitions for Barcelona

July 26, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Gerardo Martino talked of his ambitions after taking over as the new Barcelona manager.
Gerardo Martino talked of his ambitions after taking over as the new Barcelona manager.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona new manager Gerardo Martino unveiled Friday
  • Former Newell's Old Boys boss signs two-year deal at Nou Camp
  • Fourth Argentine manager in Barca's history
  • Says Cesc Fabregas is staying despite bid from Manchester United.

(CNN) -- Gerardo Martino was unveiled as Barcelona's new manager Friday -- promising not to change their attacking style of play but introducing "new ideas" to help the Catalan giants dominate European club football.

The 50-year-old Martino has replaced Tito Vilanova, who stood down last week to undergo further treatment for throat cancer.

Martino, who took Newell's Old Boys to the Argentine Clausura Championship, has signed a two-year deal at the Nou Camp.

Read: Martino to succeed Vilanova at Barcelona

He will take charge of a side which romped to the La Liga title last season with a record points tally, but suffered a crushing humiliation in the semifinals of the Champions League, going down 7-0 on aggregate to eventual winners Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich puts a hurt on Barcelona
Lionel Messi breaks goal scoring record

It led to suggestions that Barcelona needed to make tactical changes, having gone out at the same stage of the competition for the past two years, but Martino believes it will not need a major revamp.

"Every team, even Barcelona which has already attained certain moments of excellence, can always improve, and Barca still has things to win," he told gathered reporters.

Analysis: Martino who? Is El Tata the right man for Barca?

"We are going to try to recover certain things that we've seen when Barca have been at their best, and add a few ideas of our own."

Martino confirmed that Barca's talisman and fellow Argentinian Lionel Messi would continue to operate in his current role.

"He will continue to play in exactly the same position. He has to feel comfortable, after that he'll do the rest."

Messi will be joined by big-name Brazilian signing Neymar for the new campaign, while Martino appeared to rule out the departure of midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who is the subject of a bid from English Premier League champions Manchester United.

Asked about United's attempts to sign the Spanish international with a $38 million bid on the table, Martino gave a firm reply.

Read: Vilonava steps down after cancer relapse

"If the club has signaled its refusal twice, then I signal it a third time - and so he (Fabregas) will be staying here,"

Club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who flanked Martino with president Sandro Rosell, also chipped in.

"We are not thinking of selling Cesc," he said. "That United are showing interest in Cesc is normal, because he's a great player.

"That doesn't upset us, that makes us proud that they want one of our players.

"But whatever the offer, we won't be selling him. We are relying on him."

Read: New signing Neymar promises to back Messi

Martino's appointment Tuesday came as a surprise as he has no managerial experience in Europe.

But his pedigree is clear, winning four championship titles in Paraguay, before guiding their national team to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.

He has also been a success at Newell's, a former club of Messi.

Martino is the fourth Argentine to take the helm at Barcelona after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and Cesar Luis Menotti.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT