Gerardo Martino, also nicknamed Tata, is an Argentine manager and former football player, who is the current manager of Barcelona. Martino played mostly for Newell’s Old Boys in his native Rosario.

One of the Best

“Barca have got one of the best coaches that has come out of Argentina in recent times, without any doubt.” says Maxi Rodriguez, captain of Newell’s Old Boys, who Martino led to the Argentinian Clausura title last season as well as the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

Gerardo Martino ( Photo: AP)

Gerardo Martino ( Photo: AP)

Martino considered it “normal” that he was relatively unknown in Europe. His greatest coaching achievements are leading Newell’s Old Boys to the Argentine league title last season and Paraguay to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2010.

Backed by Messi

“He’s a great coach and his record speaks for itself. He showed he could do things well both at Newell’s and with Paraguay,” Messi said. “I am convinced he will do well at Barca.”

Messi played for Newell’s in his home town of Rosario as a young boy before his move to Spain to join Barcelona’s “La Masia” training academy. The four-time world player of the year has been Martino’s most vocal supporter so far, even though they don’t know each other personally.

The Best Are From Rosario

“The best are from Rosario, Gerardo Martino is from Rosario, Lionel Messi is from Rosario, I’m from Rosario,” joked former Barcelona Coach Cesar Luis Menotti to La Xarxa this week.