Messi and the Mexico coach have a rich relationship. It was said that Leo appointed Martino to Barça and influenced the squad

Messi must be prevented. We will try to keep the ball from reaching him, so that his passes are longer and he does not come close to our goal. It will be difficult, the coach of the Mexican national team Gerardo Tata Martino told his plan to neutralize Leo.

At first glance, banal and on-duty words. But in fact, Martino knows Messi better than anyone else, because they were born in Rosario, Tata coached him both in Barcelona and in the Argentina national team (no specialist was able to do this).

Messi influenced the appointment of Martino in Barca. Leo praised the coach

Martino grew up in Rosario and became a football legend there. Tata spent most of his playing career at the local Newell's Old Boys (Messi played there for 6 years at the children's level). He played in the position of mostbet-az-90 midfielders and still remains the club's record holder for matches in all competitions. And in 2003, as a result of a poll, he was recognized as the best Newells player in history.

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Young Leo simply could not help but hear about Gerardo. But, according to Martino, they did not know each other, despite the neighborhood. They say that at the farewell match for Newell's Old Boys, little Messi was in the stands and gave a standing ovation. Even the media wrote that dad Leo idolized Gerardo for his contribution to the history of the club from Rosario.

At 34, Tata ended his playing career and became a coach. In Argentina, he is considered a student of Bielsa: he played two seasons at Newell's under Marcelo and absorbed his philosophy. Martino flew especially powerfully to Paraguay, where he became the champion four times (three times with Libertad and once with Cerro Porteño). Tata's success was noticed in his native Newells and invited to coach. There he did not let us down and suddenly got on the radar of Barça.

June 2013. After the departure of Guardiola, his former assistant Tito Vilanova played the role of coach, but due to cancer, he had to interrupt his career (less than a year later, Tito died). Martino was not the most obvious favorite for the post of coach. Stylistically, he suited Barça: he respected attacking football, played fast passing. But he didn't work in Europe at all.

According to Tata, Messi's word played a role. Indeed, even at the stage of rumors, Messi spoke with enthusiasm about Martino: I like him. Great coach and he proved it. Tata makes his teams play well and we all respect him.

The details of how events unfolded are unknown to me, but I have no doubt that Jorge and Lionel had some influence. I'm sure they were asked for their opinion. And we came to such a result, the coach said in 2013 after the appointment to Barça.

Martino's words quickly spread through the media with hot headlines in the spirit of Messi influenced the appointment of Martino, Leo is the key to the appointment of Tata. Because of the hype, Messi had to intervene. He said that he had nothing to do with the appointment, but once again called Gerardo a good coach and welcomed his move to Barcelona.