New Barcelona boss wants his players to pick up where they have left off…
Gerardo Martino, Barcelona’s new Argentinian manager, has told his players they need to be hungry for success, said the club’s 14-cap Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
“He told us that we cannot lose our desire to win,” said Valdes, reported by ITV Sport.
“We were only able to speak for a little bit, but we could see he was very excited. This is a huge project. He’ll want to make his own mark on the team and show his personality. He seems like a coach who is very close to his players,” continued the 31-year-old stopper.
“Above all, he asked us to keep on winning. Little by little we will start to see what his style is.”
Theoretically, the incoming boss doesn’t have much to change at the Nou Camp. Barcelona enjoyed a brilliant league campaign last season where they won at a canter, securing 100 points, 15 more than rivals Real Madrid.
They did however suffer a humiliating 7-0 Champions League aggregate defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich, mainly due to a leaky defence that struggled to deal with balls into the box. Martino will be eager to fix this, and could sign a new centre-back to join £50m Neymar, who has arrived at the club to play in attack with Lionel Messi.
Martino already favours a slick passing brand of football, and the Barcelona hierarchy obviously brought him in to maintain the tika-taka philosophy Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova installed into their teams. It has brought the Catalan club huge success, although last season’s Champions League embarrassment will no doubt make them hungry to become the best team in Europe once more.