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Argentina hire former Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino as their new manager

Aug 13, 2014, 7:50 AM EDT

Martino Getty Images

Argentina have acted fast in their search for a new manager. Gerardo Martino is their man.

The former Barcelona boss has been out of a job for three months but will replace Alejandro Sabella after he resigned following Argentina finishing runners up at the 2014 World Cup earlier this summer.

Martino, 51, was previously in charge of the Paraguayan national from 2006-11 and will make his return to the international stage after coaching club sides Newell’s Old Boys and Barcelona.

Last season Martino, commonly known as “Tata,” coached Barca to their first trophy-less campaign in six years and just one year into his two year deal at the Nou Camp, Martino walked away.

He is a manager who knows Argentine soccer inside out and his appointment at Barca was supposed to get the best out of Lionel Messi, who is from the same town as Martino. Both hail from Rosario and Messi is said to be a big fan of Tata’s, despite his lack of silverware with Barcelona last time out. Messi was injured for large chunks of last season and despite his goals in group games at the World Cup, his influence faded as the tournament wore on.

Martino’s main task will be to give Messi and Argentina’s other key attacking talents, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezeqiuel Lavezzi to name a few, the platform to flourish. Having taken Germany all the way to extra time at the World Cup final but losing 1-0 , the Albiceleste will be hoping for success in the upcoming Copa America Centenario in 2016 and Martino is now the man tasked with achieving that.

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