Barcelona manager latest: Lionel Messi backs Gerardo Martino to replace Tito Vilanova
Andre Villas-Boas and Michael Laudrup have been linked with the vacancy
Monday 22 July 2013
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has spoken glowingly about Gerardo Martino following the emergence of his fellow Argentinian as the favourite to succeed Tito Vilanova in the Nou Camp hot-seat.
Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is reportedly in Buenos Aires today for talks with Martino, who led Newell's Old Boys to the Argentinian Clausura title last season but recently severed ties with the club.
And four-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi would appear to support such an appointment.
He told Diario Ole: "I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach and he showed that in the Clausura with what he did for the team, the way it ended and how he did it. He gets his teams playing well and we all respect him."
The Catalan club announced on Friday night that 44-year-old Vilanova was stepping down as he continues his battle with cancer.
Former Paraguay coach Martino has been heavily tipped to take over ahead of the likes of Andre Villas-Boas, Michael Laudrup, Marcelo Bielsa, Luis Enrique and Rubi.
Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman ruled himself out of contention to succeed Vilanova after yesterday's pre-season friendly draw against Dordrecht.
Quoted in the Dutch press, the former Barca and Holland defender said: "That is absolutely not on the cards for me.
"I do not know who it should be. It's not something that affects me now. I'm more worried about the disease Vilanova has."
Barca president Sandro Rosell said on Friday night that the club expect to make an announcement on Vilanova's replacement in the coming days.
Latest in Sport
Wilfried Zaha grabs rare opportunity to impress new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez close to exit as Atletico Madrid admit interest
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen and Daley Blind on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Seydou Keita refuses Pepe handshake before throwing water bottle prior to Roma vs Real Madrid match
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us