“You have to try to make the players feel comfortable. It’s important that they still have that hunger", Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino said as he was unveiled as the new coach of Barcelona. He was joined by vice president Josep María Bartomeu and sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta.
The first few hours: “I’m very happy and grateful to the directors for their confidence in me and the way I’ve been treated. I’m proud to be at this club. We know why we’re here and I wish Tito all the best.”
First impressions: “I can confirm what you see from the outside. The first day was busy, but I was happy to be here and keen to have some contact with the players. We want Barcelona to continue their winning ways.”
The proven model: “You have to think about the style of the club, the players, and find the style they feel comfortable with as well as your own contributions to make the squad more complete.”
Catalonia: “I tried to look into the place I’m coming to, but there are serious issues that stop me from giving my opinion.”
Barça: “It’s a privileged place to be, but it will never be too ambitious. One year ago I didn’t think I’d be here.”
First job: “To keep on making sure the players still have the same hunger. Achieving that will mean there are good years ahead, and will make sure the whole squad know it. We want to spread the strength we bring with us and convince them about things related to the way the team works. There are excellent players here and if we return to the idea of these moments of triumph our aspirations will reach the top.”
Unknown: “I take it as something natural; if I’d worked in Europe I’d be more well-known”
Neymar and Messi: I don’t see why two players like that can’t work together”
Your career: “Of the trainers I had, the majority at Newell’s, I learnt to adjust to the players I have. Paraguay is very different from Newell's, but the style of play at Newell's was more similar to Barcelona.”
Menotti said it’s easier to train in Europe than Argentina: “He knows more than me, but coaching in Argentina is difficult. Many of us believe that after working there you can work anywhere in the world.”
Messi’s opinion: “He said that we’re from Rosario and Newell’s and we don’t know each other. Yes, I said that they might have asked him, but going by what he said that didn’t happen and I’m not going to argue. He’s always OK because he’s the best player in the world. It’s not being a demagogue or the desire to look good because I’ve said it before.”
Messi’s position: “He’s played in different places, and lately as a centre forward and has taken on the role of goalscorer. I presume he’ll continue playing in the same place.”
Relationship in the dressing room: “We’ve always wanted to be close to players to make final decisions. I hope this will help the team to grow.”
Pre-season: “The idea is to travel today, to meet up with the players already training, watch the game and welcome the others that will be joining us on Monday. I can’t say any more because the contracts are already signed.”
Squad numbers: “The numbers are lower than at Newell’s because of the amount of competitions. Everyone will have the chance to be important.”
Puyol: "He’s the only one I’ve spoken to”
Vilanova: “I spoke to him on the phone and he welcomed me here. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Roura and the current technical team: “I’ve spoken to as many people as possible, but not to Roura because he’s on the tour. I’ll need all the information he has to prepare properly for the first league game.”
Squad and training: “We haven’t got there yet, I’m just getting to know the club.”
Jonathan dos Santos: “We rely on everyone in the squad. After that there are institutional matters that were being dealt with before I arrived. But Jonathon forms part of my plans.”
Room for improvement: “Barcelona have reached excellence, but there is always room for improvement and something to win. What was always amazing was a team that played so well pressing and winning back the ball so high up the pitch.”
The ranks: “Barcelona see the ranks the same way as the club I’ve just come from. It’s great to have back-up from the youth team players.”
The Rosario talent pool: “I haven’t got any explanation. This has been happening for a long time in football, in art; also with trainers. The only thing I can say is that we’re very happy.
Being in charge of Messi: "I thought I would be at Newell's".
Cesc: "If the club said no to Manchester United two times, the third time is on its way. I want him to stay.”
La Liga: “It’s logical that the club needs to win the title. In Spain this has happened for a long time and the one that loses feels like it’s a failure.
Failure: "It will be if we don’t win trophies, absolutely. Sometimes they’re are won and nothing is said about it, the team that wins is not always the right one, but Barça are used to winning and that’s the way it has to be.”
Alexis or Pedro: "There’s also Tello. We’ll play the one that’s best suited to help us win.”
Controversy against Madrid: "We’ll talk about football. We’ll attempt to explain victories and defeats but not about what happens off the pitch.”
Beating Madrid: “Winning and losing a Clásico is not the same thing. It’s an extremely important game, but it’s not a trophy.”
The possible signing of Vergini: "He’s an excellent player and he had a great season at Newell’s, but I need to speak to the squad before deciding.”
Simeone and Atlético: "I’m happy things are going well for ‘El Cholo’, the Super Cup will be tough. There are also other great sides in the league.
The 4-3-3 formation: "We’ll try to play with the same formation. It’s the most comfortable line-up. I played like that with Paraguay and with Newell’s, just with different players.