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Koeman named FC Barcelona coach

Last updated on: August 19, 2020 16:21 IST
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'We are betting on him because we know him very well, we know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience and as he was in Johan's 'Dream Team' he knows Barca and how we understand football'

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman arrives at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Barcelona, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Dutch coach Ronald Koeman arrives at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, Barcelona, on Tuesday. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Barcelona have appointed Ronald Koeman as their next coach, the club said in a statement on Wednesday, as the Catalans look to rebuild after their 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.

Koeman, who has left his role as manager of the Netherlands, has signed a two-year-deal with Barcelona, who sacked Quique Setien on Monday after he presided over the club's worst defeat ever in European competition.

Koeman, who will be officially presented at the Camp Nou stadium later on Wednesday, is dearly loved at Barca for his role in Johan Cruyff's hugely successful side known as the 'Dream Team' and for scoring the goal that delivered the club's first ever European Cup in 1992.

The defender later became the club's assistant coach before embarking on a career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League sides Southampton and Everton and La Liga's Valencia.

"Barcelona and Ronald Koeman have come to an agreement for him to be the team's coach until 30 June 2022," said Barca's statement.

"A club legend and Barca's hero at Wembley who gave fans their first European Cup, Koeman is coming back to the Camp Nou. But this time he will be in the dugout to lead the team."

Earlier on Tuesday, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Koeman would be Barcelona's next coach and the Dutchman will construct his team around Lionel Messi, 

Koeman, who is revered by Barca fans for delivering their first European Cup as a player, will be expected to lead the club's rebuilding work after they were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals last Friday.

 

"If there is no change then we will announce Koeman as our next coach and he will lead this team and these players forward with a different type of project, led by a coach who all Barca fans know," Bartomeu said in an interview with the club's official television channel.

Koeman's imminent arrival will be the third phase of a restructuring of the club which began with Quique Setien's sacking on Monday and continued on Tuesday as sporting director Eric Abidal agreed to terminate his contract.

Setien was the second Barcelona head coach to be sacked this year. Setien had replaced Ernesto Valverde, with the latter being sacked following a loss to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana despite being at the top of La Liga at the time.

Setien recorded 16 wins, four draws, and five defeats during his time with Barcelona.

Koeman, 57, arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday after spending the morning at the Netherlands' headquarters to negotiate being released from his contract with the national team, who he has coached since 2018 and led to qualify for Euro 2020.

Koeman is fondly remembered at Barca for the role he played in Johan Cruyff's hugely successful side known as the 'Dream Team' and for scoring the only goal against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup final.

The defender later became the club's assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League teams Southampton and Everton and La Liga's Valencia.

"We are betting on him because we know him very well, we know how he thinks and how his teams play, but also because of his experience and as he was in Johan's 'Dream Team' he knows Barca and how we understand football," Bartomeu added. 

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