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Football: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino appointed Argentina coach

updated 6:47 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Gerardo Martino takes over from Alejandro Sabella as Argentina coach.
Gerardo Martino takes over from Alejandro Sabella as Argentina coach.
  • Gerardo Martino appointed as new coach of the Argentina national team
  • Martino spent last season in charge of Barcelona
  • Barca ended the season trophyless, losing the title to Atletico Madrid on the final day
  • Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in last month's World Cup final

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(CNN) -- Three months after leaving Barcelona following a trophyless season, Gerardo Martino has been appointed coach of the Argentina national team.

Affectionately known as "Tata," Martino replaces Alejandro Sabella after he led Argentina to an agonizing 1-0 defeat against Germany in last month's World Cup final.

Martino arrived in Catalonia as a replacement for Tito Vilanova, who was forced to step down in July 2013 as he battled throat cancer. Vilanova passed away earlier this year.

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Despite signing a two-year contract, Martino lasted just one season at the Nou Camp, missing out on the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid on the final day of the season having been eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of the European Champions League by the same opposition.

The 51-year-old now has the chance to manage a national team for the second time in his career following a five-year stint in charge of Paraguay between 2006 and 2011.

Martino enjoys a good relationship with Argentina captain and Barca star Lionel Messi, having managed Argentine club Newell's Old Boys while the four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner was in its youth team.

The primary focus for Martino and the Argentina team will be the 2015 Copa America, which takes place in Chile during June and July next year.

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