Archive for  September 2014

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Gerardo Martino believes that being the coach of a player like Lionel Messi is quite tough.

According to Martino, each and every performance of Messi, be it at the club or at the international level, is analyzed to the core and the coach is always asked questions.

Martino has worked with Messi for a season at Camp Nou and even though, he is not associated with the Blaugrana any more, he will continue working with the star forward as he has taken charge of the Argentina national team now.
Martino has replaced Alejandro Sabella, who resigned after the World Cup in Brazil, as Albiceleste manager just a few weeks back.

In an interview with the William Hill (football betting site) recently, when Martino was asked how it’s like coaching Messi, he said, “It’s not easy at all. You are under the microscope all the time if you are coaching a guy of the calibre of Leo. People will always have something to say about his performance. If he finds the net thrice in a match, why he played so well? If he goes scoreless, why not even one goal? You always have questions to answer as his coach.”

“Last Season, there were remarks that Leo was playing within himself at Barca keeping the World Cup in mind, but, if you look at the numbers, he netted close to 30 times in the league.”

“People will always be saying things about him, either good or bad. He is that big a name.”

Messi was supposed to play for Argentina in the friendly fixture against Germany which is coming up, but, he withdrew himself from the squad yesterday due to some injury concerns.

The Argentina medical staff will probably be visiting him later tomorrow in Catalonia to see how bad his injury is.
The Argentina Versus Germany friendly match will be played at ESPRIT arena, Dusseldorf.

Barcelona start the new campaign hoping to reclaim the league title with a home match against Elche. However, new manager Luis Enrique will be without star summer signing Luis Suarez since the forward is suspended until the end of October. Enrique has previously been disappointing in his managerial jobs, but there is confidence within Barcelona that he will be a success at the Catalan outfit since he knows the club from the top to bottom. Enrique came through the ranks at Barcelona and went on to captain the club during an immensely successful period. In many ways, he is similar to the club’s former manager Pep Guardiola.

After having managed to work with a number of star names like Lionel Messi and Neymar in the last few weeks of training, Enrique says that he is confident ahead of the new season. The club has had an indifferent from in the pre-season friendly matches after starting with a 1-1 draw against French club Nice. However, they have since recovered to show good form towards the end of the pre-season preparations. The match against Elche will represent a soft introduction to life as a Barcelona manager for Enrique. Ahead of the season opener, the former Barcelona captain has spoken about a number of issues like Messi and Suarez.

“I’m delighted by the motivation and ambition shown by the players in training. That makes me very optimistic…These session have been more intense and tougher than I expected because of their capacity for sacrifice. I’m 100% optimistic the fans will enjoy what we do. Neither I nor the Club accept that the squad is complete. The Club should always be looking for reinforcements. He’s [Messi] such a good reader of the game so we mustn’t close off any opening that he sees on the pitch,” said Enrique.