Former Barcelona boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has said he was surprised at how little was known about him in Catalonia.
The 51-year old, who left Barca at the end of last season and is now Coach of Argentina, gave a candid interview to Argentine media outlet Canchallena in which he spoke of his experiences at the Camp Nou.
“I was too much of an unknown quantity when I arrived and was surprised by how unfamiliar I was to a lot of people. The man in the supermarket may not know who you are but those that work in the sport should,” he maintained.
Martino insists that criticism of his work started almost immediately, something he found difficult to deal with from the outset.
“The team had been scoring plenty of goals in every game and at that time, which I think was after five rounds of fixtures, I began to think it was going to be hard to keep it up.
“At Barca there is a lot of importance placed on winning but not everything gets celebrated equally, as you have to take into account the stature of the opposition.
“Seeing the repercussions every day was demanding and I found myself asking: “When did that happen that I didn’t notice it?”
“There were stories all the time about things that did and didn’t happen, but I never like to give excuses and of course I didn’t, but it was tough,” he admitted.
That said, the Argentine acknowledged he enjoyed working with the players and the day-to-day interaction at training.
“There was the other side of it, which was being with the players every day and I enjoyed that. They were great lads who I could talk to about football.
“Although they were all well-known they were unassuming. It made things a bit easier but it was a year that took a lot out of me.”
Even so, Tata believes there are things he took away from his time in Spain that will be beneficial in the future.
“I think it will help me a lot with Argentina because we must also live here with news stories every day. There will be times when incidents occur and I won’t be surprised by them.
“They have nothing to do with football but everything that comes with it, all the exposure, and you are constantly under the microscope,” he confessed.