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Martino to abandon Barcelona at the end of the season

from:新华网2014-03-18 15:20

MADRID, March 17 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino looks to be leaving the club at the end of the season after Catalan TV station 'Esport 3' said he would not be in charge at the Camp Nou Stadium next season.

Although the story has to be confirmed by the club or the coach, the news came as little surprise after Martino's press conference on Saturday ahead of his side's 7-0 win at home to Osasuna on Sunday.

During the conference Martino said that he had not taken part in any discussions to plan for next season and added that as far as he knew no discussions had taken place to plan for the 2014- 2015 season.

Should the news be confirmed, it would mean the end of a one- season reign in which the former Newells Old Boys coach has struggled to convince the Barcelona faithful, among them the press, that he was the right man to replace Tito Vilanova, who was forced to leave the post last summer for health reasons.

Martino has been criticized for attempting to change Barca's style of play, adopting more long balls and surrendering some aspects of the passing game which is held as almost sacred at the club.

In his defense it should be pointed out that he has faced the season with midfielder linchpin Xavi Hernandez in his declining years, while Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta have been below their best and Leo Messi was plagued by injury problems before the New Year.

The club also failed to make the necessary signings over the summer and has struggled in defense at moments of the campaign.

Coupled with on-field problems, Barcelona has also suffered off the field with Sando Rosell forced to resign the club Presidency in January after accusations of tax avoidance linked to the signing of Brazilian striker, Neymar, making this a complicated campaign for anyone from outside of the club to come in and try and change things.

The news comes at the start of the week which sees Barca, who are in third place in the BBVA Primera Liga table travel to face Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, with a point gap to make up on the league leaders, who they will also play in the final of the Copa del Rey in April.

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