According to his fitness coach, the Argentine manager, and likely successor to Tito Vilanova, instills a similar style to the Catalan club and would be a perfect fit at Camp NouGerardo Martino is the ideal candidate for Barcelona as his football philosophy is similar to the Catalan giants, says his fitness coach Elvio Paolorroso.
The 50-year-old manager is close to agreeing a three-year deal with the Liga champions according to reports in Spain on Monday.
The Argentine coach spent the past season guiding Newell’s Old Boys to the Clausura championship in Argentina, earning a reputation as the ‘Barcelona of this continent’ which makes him perfect for the role, according to Paolorroso.
“Newell’s was very similar to Barcelona in terms of keeping the ball, rotation, passing and touch, and defence,” he told RAC1.
“I think they were the most similar thing to Barcelona. They were crowned champions, and reached the latter stages of the [Copa] Libertadores. I believe he is the type of coach who would adapt perfectly to the style of Barcelona.
“Martino’s teams are forbidden to kick the ball anywhere; they always have to look for a team-mate, even if that means making intermediate passes.
“His teams also require great mobility. When there is a correct tactical approach, there is an economy of effort. Every player knows what he has to do and that economy of effort allows the player to cope better. The system allows for an economy of effort.”
As well as his fifteen years of coaching experience, including a four-year stint as Paraguay coach where he won the South American Coach of the Year in 2007, Martino also brings with him an illustrious playing career as an attacking midfielder.
Martino featured in nearly 500 matches for Newell’s, while also spending a short time in Spain.
“That is a big help when it comes to managing a dressing room without any kind of problems," Paolorroso continued
"And one of the premises of Martino is that he gets used to the idiosyncrasy of each country. For example, with Paraguay he adapted to the culture of the Paraguayan player, as opposed to making them adjust to him. That is a great virtue.
“He has an excellent relationship with all of his players, even with those who aren’t playing. He is very open and cheerful, and a good communicator. He likes to be close with his players and motivate them, and that is what distinguishes him in his leadership."
He added: “We have to be cautious. What Barcelona represents in the world is something very big, and despite all the experience the members of his technical staff have had, this is something almost dreams are made of. Barcelona is a privileged place, so we are trying not be overcome by anxiety or excitement.”