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Barcelona appoint Martino

23 July 2013 11:57

Barcelona have confirmed the appointment of Gerardo Martino as their new manager.

The 50-year-old takes over from Tito Vilanova, who stepped down on Friday to continue his treatment for throat cancer.

Martino, who guided Newell's Old Boys to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores before parting company with the Argentinian side earlier this month, has agreed a two-year contract.

The former Paraguay national team manager's availability moved him ahead of reported candidates Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde, who recently signed with Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao respectively.

Martino, who was voted as Newell's best ever player in 2010, walked away from his role with the Rosario club on July 10 following their defeat Atletico Minero in the last four of the Libertadores.

Known for his attacking style of play, Martino will aim to further improve a Barcelona side that won La Liga at a canter last season.

The Camp Nou outfit finished 15 points ahead of Real Madrid, but fell short in Europe as they were hammered 7-0 on aggregate by eventual winners Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Martino becomes the fourth Argentinian to manage the Catalan club, following in the footsteps of Roque Olsen, Heleno Herrera and Cesar Luis Menotti.

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +51 90
2 38 +67 87
3 38 +66 87
4 38 +27 70
5 38 +17 63

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