Mascherano plays down Martino's lack of European experience

The 29-year-old believes there should not be too much emphasis placed on the fact much of the Argentine's coaching-career has been based in South America
Javier Mascherano has played down Gerardo Martino's lack of experience in European football after his appointment as Barcelona coach.

The 50-year-old was unveiled to the Spanish media for the first time on Friday having being named Tito Vilanova's successor earlier this week.

However, Martino, who joins the Catalans from Newell's Old Boys, has yet to coach a club outside of South America, but Mascherano believes the trainer has a universal blueprint for success.

He told reporters: "I did not know much about Martino, but he has a 15-year coaching career, most of the time spent with the Paraguay national team – and he achieved good results there.

"I have never worked with him, so I do not know what to expect, but from what I've seen he has changed the way Newell's play.

"Martino plays the same system that we play. Each coach has their nuances, but the idea is the same."

The Blaugrana's rivals, Real Madrid, have added Isco and Asier Illarramendi to their ranks during the off-season and the Argentina international believes further reinforcements are essential, despite the club's €57 million (£49.2m) recruitment of Neymar.

He added: "We have done some good with the likes of Neymar, but we should improve further.

"We have to create competition within the squad, with new people coming in wanting to compete and win things.

"It is logical and understandable that the club would want reinforcements because last year we suffered when our defenders got injured."