Gerardo Martino named as Mexico head coach

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-08 06:45:49|Editor: Chengcheng
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MEXICO CITY, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Former Barcelona, Argentina and Paraguay boss Gerardo Martino has been appointed head coach of Mexico, the country's football federation said on Monday.

The 56-year-old Argentine agreed to a three and a half-year contract after parting ways with Atlanta United, whom he led to the MLS championship last month.

"I have the great satisfaction of welcoming Gerardo Martino to the role of Mexico's national team [manager]," federation president Yon de Luisa told a news conference.

"Mr Martino's experience ... gives us a guarantee of teamwork that is exactly what we are looking for in this great challenge to qualify for [the 2022 World Cup in] Qatar."

Martino has endured mixed fortunes as a manager at international level. In 2010, he guided Paraguay to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa, where they were eliminated 1-0 by eventual champions Spain.

In 2015 and 2016 he led Argentina to successive Copa America finals, both of which they lost to Chile on penalties.

"The [federation's] seriousness, the respect in the hiring [process] and the work ethic of the footballers are what led me to be here," Martino said during his official presentation.

"The first thing I will focus on is putting together a team that has quality and a clear idea of how to play that strikes a chord with the fans and Mexico's people."

Martino's first matches in charge will be friendlies against Chile and Paraguay in late March.

Mexico had been searching for a new head coach since August, when Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio stood down after El Tri's last-16 elimination from the World Cup in Russia. The national team was led on an interim basis in the second half of 2018 by Brazilian Ricardo Ferretti.