Josep Guardiola’s decision not to stay at the helm of FC Barcelona next season could have unleashed a flurry of rumours about possible successors. However, as Andoni Zubizarreta revealed last Friday, the Club had long ago decided to follow the same policy as for new players – to look first at the people already in the Club. And that’s why the baton is being passed to the man who has been Guardiola’s number 2 for the last five years, Tito Vilanova.
Basketball and handball
The same policy can be seen at work elsewhere in the Club. The departure of basketball coach Dusko Ivanovic led to the appointment of his number 2, Xavi Pascual, who has already won 11 trophies since he took over at Barça Regal.
The same happened in the handball section after the Club parted company with Manolo Cadenas and replaced him with his assistant, the other Xavi Pascual. His record in charge of Barça Intersport has been impeccable, culminating in an historic league and Champions League double a year ago. In both cases the Club put their faith in the number 2 coach rather than look elsewhere.
Futsal and hockey
It’s pretty much the same story in the futsal and roller hockey sections. Former Barça star and technical director Marc Carmona has managed Barça Alusport since the 2004/05 season. Meanwhile, Gaby Cairo, a former captain and a Barça player during 11 years, became the fifth home-grown manager of the hockey team at the start of the 2011/12 season.
The choice of Tito Vilanova to succeed Guardiola is no mere coincidence but very much a reflex ion of the way things are done here at Barça.