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Martino stay would delight Iniesta

Barcelona star Andres Iniesta says he would be “delighted” if under-fire boss Gerardo Martino remains at Camp Nou next season.

The Argentinian took the reins in the close-season and initially enjoyed a stunning start to life in Catalunya, with Barca topping La Liga for 23 of the first 24 rounds of matches.

However, they have since ceded top spot to Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – the latter sitting in pole position for the title with two games to go.

Though Atleti need just four points to guarantee a first title since 1996, Barca’s fate also remains in their own hands.

Two wins from their remaining fixtures – including Atleti’s visit to Camp Nou on the final day – will see Barca lift a 23rd Spanish title.

Martino’s future is shrouded in doubt after elimination in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the hands of Atleti and defeat in the Copa del Rey final to Real.

However, Iniesta has backed the man currently in the hotseat, amid rumours former Barca midfielder and B team coach Luis Enrique has been lined up to take over.

Iniesta told Diario Ole: “In my opinion, my coach is the best. So I’d be delighted if he stayed and could give us everything he’s got.

“In the first year is always tough for everyone. From what I’ve seen he’s always been motivated and keen to believe in our chances.

“Things don’t always turn out how you want them to, but you have to try.

“The scene around Barca is always difficult, not just for him, but for everyone, the players included. It’s constantly extremely demanding and faced with that you have to be willing to deal with it.”

Sat 10 May, 2014
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