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Inter Miami hire Tata Martino as coach

Jul 2, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Mexico national team coach Tata Martino aka Gerardo Martino wears a face mask at training session at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliusem prior to a MexTour match against Nigeria. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former MLS title-winning coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino was hired as coach of Inter Miami CF on Wednesday.

Martino is the former coach of international star Lionel Messi, who is slated to join Inter Miami late next month.

Martino, 60, guided Atlanta United to the 2018 MLS Cup.

“I’m very excited to join a big club like Inter Miami and I know together we can accomplish many great things,” Martino said in a news release. “The club has the necessary infrastructure to be a major competitor in the region and I believe that with everyone’s hard work and commitment we can get there.”

Martino coached Messi with Barcelona (2013-14) and the Argentina national team (2014-16). Speculation was heavy that Inter Miami was targeting Martino due to his strong relationship with Messi.

“We are very happy to be able to welcome Tata to Inter Miami. We feel he is a coach who matches our ambitions as a club and we’re optimistic about what we can accomplish together,” Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas said in a statement. “Tata has coached at the highest levels and we believe that experience will be hugely beneficial to us as we aim to compete for titles here.”

Martino went 36-16-16 in two regular seasons with Atlanta United (2017-18). He resigned after the 2018 season, citing personal reasons. Martino spent the next four years as coach of Mexico’s national team.

Martino replaces Phil Neville, who was fired on June 1. Javier Morales has been coaching the team on an interim basis and Miami is 0-3-0 during his tenure to stretch its losing streak to seven matches.

The Herons are in last place in the Eastern Conference.

“Right now, this is a team that shows an adverse picture in the standings,” Martino said of the Herons. “It is also decimated by injuries and by the players called up to their national teams.

“But there are great expectations around the new players that are going to come soon. They are really important. I hope that they can help us to make the team better from an emotional and playing point of view so we can have a season-ending more in line with what is expected of this club.”

Former star player David Beckham, co-owner of Inter Miami, was pleased to see the hiring come to fruition.

“Tata is a highly-respected figure in our sport whose track record speaks for itself,” Beckham said. “We are confident that his achievements in the game and experience as a head coach will inspire our team and excite our fans and look forward to seeing the impact he will have on and off the field.”

–Field Level Media

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