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Tata Martino steps down as FC Barcelona coach

Monday, 19 May 2014 - 10:29pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

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FC Barcelona manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino has taken a decision to leave FC Barcelona. It was a mutual agreement between between the club and the manager.




Though there were rumors of Martino departing the club way before, his decision was confirmed when Barcelona conceded the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid. Barcelona have remained trophy-less this season. Its the first time since 2007/08 season the FC Barcelona have remained trophy-less.

Gerardo Martino had a disappointing season at the Camp Nou. Its Barca's first trophy-less season in 6 years. Firstly, Barcelona lost the Copa Del Rey final to Real Madrid, got knocked out of the UEFA champions League in the quarter-final stage to Atletico Madrid. After being knocked out of two major competitions, the only hope for silverware Barca had was the La Liga, as they needed a victory against Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou, to claim the La Liga trophy on the last day of the season. It was an glorious opportunity for Martino's men to clinch the title as Atletico Madrid's leading goal-scorer was withdrawn early from the match due to a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, Barca drew the match 1-1, which confirmed Atletico Madrid as the La Liga winners for the first time in 18 years.

But all this wasn't enough for troubled Martino. He had to face Neymar transfer scandal, which resulted resignation of former club president, Sandro Rosell. The Neymar scandal also resulted in a two-year transfer ban for the Catalan club (the suspension has been put on hold until a final decision on their appeal is taken). Barca's star player Loinel Messi missed nearly two months of football action due to an injury, which had an adverse effect on Barcelona's La Liga campaign.

Tata Martino's comments after confirming he will leave the club, as reported by FC Barcelona's official website: 

“I announce the mutual decision with the Club to no longer manage FC Barcelona. I thank the Club for everything its given me, I thank President Bartomeu, Football Director Zubizarreta and Sandro Rosell for having confidence in me. I also thank the fans for their respect, and I thank everyone that worked with me and my staff, and I especially thank the players.”

Martino on losing the title: “I profoundly lament the fact that I was not able to help the players to achieve the objectives of the Club. We tried with dignity,” he said. I congratulate Atlético Madrid because they were our great rival this season, they did a fantastic job and I’m certain they will continue to do well.”

FC Barcelona Football Director Andoni Zubizarreta: “We thank Martino for the job he’s done throughout this complicated season. Despite today’s result, Zubizarreta said “that despite the difficulties, the team fought until the end for the league and Copa del Rey.”

Despite of having an average season, Martino had enormous to contribute to the club: 

Tata Martino helped the Catalan club be the league leaders for 59 consecutive weeks. No team has ever managed to stay in first place for so long, a run that includes the first 21 weeks of the season just ended and all 38 weeks of the season under Tito Vilanova.

Martino led Barça to its longest ever winning start in La Liga. The club won its first eight games. He also goes down as the FCB manager that survived the most official games undefeated since taking over, no fewer than 20 games (14 in the league, 4 in the Champions League and 2 in the Spanish Supercup).

With Celta Vigo's coach Luis Enrique confirming his departure as well, there are rumors suggesting that he may be the new head coach for the Catalan club. Since Enrique was a player at Barca, he is the favourite to replace Martino at the club.



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