Gerardo Martino 'ideal coach for Barca'
Gerardo Martino has been described as "the ideal coach for Barcelona" by one of his former players at Newell's Old Boys, ex-Liverpool and Atletico Madrid midfielder Maxi Rodriguez.
The Argentinian described his compatriot as “one of the best managers” his country has produced in recent times.
Under Martino, Newell’s won the Argentine league title in February and reached the semi-finals of the Copa de Libertadores.
“Despite the fact that it’s the players that go out onto the field of play, we always had clear instructions: to pass the ball around well," the attacking midfielder, who spent two-and-a-half years at Liverpool before heading back to Rosario, told AS. "We used our heads and played with purpose, and that way the results always come."
Newell’s were known as the ‘Barcelona of Argentina' under Martino, and Rodriguez believes that the manager's philosophy is in line with the football seen at the Camp Nou in recent years.
“Martino has always liked his teams to play one-touch football and to dominate possession," he added. "His style will be familiar to the Camp Nou faithful. He plays with a 4-3-3 formation but he also has interesting variations up his sleeve.
“I am certain that he’s the ideal coach for Barcelona.”
The 32-year-old also spoke about how the manager interacts with players on an individual level and the enormous difference he made on his arrival at Newell’s.
“Martino is a manager who talks a lot with the players, he is friendly and he is someone who listens in order to learn. He’s capable of learning something from any experience.
“He made a radical change to the history of Newell’s – when he arrived the club was on the verge of relegation which would have been a disaster. But we all believed in him from the first day, we managed to turn it around and not long ago we ended up celebrating a league title in the streets of Rosario.”