January 16, 2018
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Profile: Coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Born on November 20, 1962 in Rosario, Martino was a midfielder and captained Newell's Old Boys where he spent the bulk of his playing career before coaching Paraguay to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 2010.


Martino, surprisingly capped only once by Argentina, played a club record 509 matches for Newell's, winning three league titles, two under his mentor Marcelo Bielsa who helped him add defensive discipline to his attacking skills.

Came through the junior ranks at Newell's and stayed for a decade before trying his hand in Spain at Tenerife, which was a short-lived experience.

Nicknamed "Tata" (grandad), he returned to Newell's for another three years, had a season at Lanus in Buenos Aires, then saw out his career with brief stints back at Newell's and with Barcelona SC of Ecuador.


Martino began coaching in the Argentine lower leagues before moving to Paraguay where he made his name, winning four league titles in six years - three with Libertad and one with Cerro Porteno.

His club success in Paraguay earned him the job as coach of the country's national team in 2006. They reached the 2010 World Cup, their fourth finals in a row, and made the last eight for the first time, losing 1-0 to eventual champions Spain.

Martino steered Paraguay to the Copa America final in Argentina in 2011 but then quit and also turned down a lucrative offer from Colombia to return to Newell's, where there is a stand named after him at the Marcelo Bielsa ground, to help them avoid relegation.

The 51-year-old steered Newell's clear of the drop zone in 2012 and then led them to second place in the "Inicial" championship, the first of two in the Argentine season, before winning the "Final" in June 2013.

His success caught the eye of Barcelona, who hired him as successor to the late Tito Vilanova, where he linked up with fellow Argentines Lionel Messi, who also comes from football hotbed Rosario, and Javier Mascherano.

Martino, the fourth Argentine to take charge at Barcelona after Helenio Herrera in 1958, Roque Olsen in 1965 and Cesar Luis Menotti in 1983, lasted one season. He lost his job at the end of the 2013/14 campaign after the club failed to win any major silverware for the first time in six years.

He accepted the Argentina job after Sabella, who steered his country to the World Cup final in Brazil on July 13, stood down two weeks ago.
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Tags:  Profile  coach  Gerardo Martino  Argentina  

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia