Barcelona recently appointed Gerardo Martino as the replacement for Tito Vilanova, who had to step down from his managerial job due to the difficulties from his cancer treatment resurfacing once again. Vilanova missed large chunks of last season due to cancer treatment, and a reappearance of the disease has meant that he would have had to do the same this season as well. Barcelona were not at their imperious best last campaign and it was primarily due to the constant changing of managers. Barcelona decided to hand over the duties to assistant manager Roura when Vilanova was absent.
Barcelona only managed to win the league title last campaign, but it was largely viewed as a hollow victory because it was mainly down to the lack of a challenge from Real Madrid. During the Guardiola era, Barcelona were one of the strongest teams in the world. The decimated their opponents by playing a style of football that was so intense. Defender Dani Alves has said that the club is close to recapturing that intensity under the regime of Martino, who has been overseeing the training in the last few weeks.
Barcelona also recently brought in Brazilian striker Neymar from Santos for around £ 50 million. He is expected to reduce the burden on Lionel Messi.
“Tata Martino is a good coach. He’s given us that intensity that we perhaps lost over the years. With this spirit we will once again be able to do great things. The fans can get excited about this team because the players are ready to give it their all,” said the Brazilian defender on the official site of Barcelona. Barcelona recently managed to win 8-0 against Brazilian club Santos in a friendly match. They will be playing against Levante in the opening game of the season at home.