Buenos Aires, Dec 30 (IANS) Argentina’s national football team coach and former Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has said he has no illusions about improving the game of Catalan star Lionel Messi, regarded the world’s best player.
His mission as national team coach, Martino said, was to “put together a team in which he (Messi) will feel comfortable,” reports Xinhua.
Martino added he was “never afraid” Messi would decide to ditch the team following criticisms of his performance.
Asked if he had something to contribute to the player, Martino said: “Absolutely nothing, neither to him nor (his club) Barcelona. The only thing I wish for is for him to be happy about coming to play with the national team, happy to play on a team that represents him.
“Speaking from a football standpoint, I don’t aspire to make the world’s best player better, because that would be hard. But I do have to make sure I don’t make him worse,” said Martino.
Asked about his own less than successful stint as Barcelona coach (from July 2013 to May 2014), Martino admitted he made “huge blunders,” but declined to go into detail.
He lamented having achieved nothing while in Barcelona, saying it was like a blank in his coaching career, which “happened to take place in the most important place”.