Martino hopes to live up to the challenge

Buenos Aires, July 24 (IANS) Barcelona's new coach, the talented Argentinian-born Gerardo Martino, says his biggest concern is being able to live up to the challenge that "a club of this size" represents.

"What most keeps me up at night is living up to the circumstances and being a real contribution to the players and the institution," Martino said at a press conference at the headquarter of Newell's Old Boys in Rosario, 300 km north of Buenos Aires Tuesday.

Martino led the Old Boys to win Argentina's Closing Tournament.

Speaking in his characteristically measured way, Martino said, "My challenge is to insert myself into a club of this size (and) be able to do it in the best and fastest way possible."

Martino, 50, stressed "the scale of the team", which features soccer superstars Lionel Messi (who is also from Rosario) and Brazil's Neymar.

The coach hoped "things turn out as best as possible", and made it clear that he expected to adapt to Barcelona's style, and not the other way around.

"I understand what institution I'm coming to, the history it has. I am the one who has to adapt to its ways and see how I can contribute to a team that is already very rich," he said.

Martino said he was pleased to coach "the best soccer player in the world", referring to Messi, and wished "to play a leading role in all the matches the team has to play".

Martino said being contacted to coach the team following the departure of Tito Vilanova was "unexpected", and he thanked Newell, who reached the semifinals in the Libertadores Cup.

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