Gerardo Martino, the current coach of the Mexico national side, considers his forgettable stint at Barcelona in 2013-14 to have been the “worst year” of his career.
The Argentine tactician was given the chance to succeed Tito Vilanova at Camp Nou having previously impressed in South America and earned favour with Lionel Messi. He was, however, to last just one season with the Spanish Super Cup the only major honour he claimed.
Failure to bring the best out of a star-studded squad saw him make way for the arrival of Luis Enrique, with the Barca legend able to bring the good times back.
Martino concedes that he found the going tough at the Barca helm and has few fond memories of that period in what has been an otherwise distinguished coaching career.
He told Mundo Deportivo: “From a results point of view, it wasn’t a bad year. We won a trophy and we reached a final (of the Copa del Rey), but what Barcelona care about is how many trophies you win.
“However, I’d say that it was my worst year [of my career] because my contribution as coach started and ended with the management of the team.”
Martino feels he was ultimately ushered through the exits by Barca because he tried to tweak the traditional style of ball-playing football that the club had become synonymous with.
He added: “There are questions that my management had a short life and, for me, the Clasico we won 2-1 against Real Madrid at home was key.
“We scored the second goal running into space and if Barcelona ran into space, it was because something didn’t add up, but I thought that there was something we could add to the team, it was not denying them the chance to run.
“The pace [of the team] was making Barcelona more complete because when the opposition had spells of dominance, they were able to sit back and counter into the space. That’s what they did the following season with Luis Enrique.”
Martino took the reins with Argentina after leaving Barca, guiding them to two final appearances at the Copa America, and is now at the Mexico helm having been snapped up by El Tri in January 2019.