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Born in Gijón on May 8, 1970, Luis Enrique has come to manage Barça in May 2014, taking over from Tata Martino, after having coached Celta Vigo
At 36 years of age, he took the football coaching course alongside such illustrious names as Josep Guardiola, Guillermo Amor, Albert Ferrer, and Sergi Barjuán, amongst others. Thus, in June 2008 he took charge of Barça Athletic, former name of Barca B, a team that had been promoted the previous season from the Third Division to Second Division B. He took over from Pep Guardiola, who was to take charge of the first team alongside Tito Vilanova.
Lucho had a lot of success coaching the Barça B. In the 2008/09 season they finished in fifth place in their group in Second Division B, although they didn’t gain the desired promotion, something they did achieve a season later thanks to a great generation of players like Sergi Roberto Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya, Thiago Alcantara, and Jonathan Soriano. With these players the team cames second in the regular season, and then gained promotion to Second Division A, beating Jaen and San Andreu in the play-offs.
The icing on the cake came in the 2010/11 season, when Luis Enrique achieved the highest position in the history of Barça reserves in the second division of Spanish football, with 71 points (20 wins, 11 draws, and 11 defeats) coming third in the championship behind Betis and Rayo Vallecano, who both won direct promotion to the Premier Division, and ahead of Granada, who also gained promotion that season
After this milestone, Luis Enrique decided to try his luck outside of Spain and made the leap to become coach of AS Roma, one of the most important teams in the 'calcio', where he had Bojan Krkic in his team, on loan from FC Barcelona. He finished the season in seventh place in the League, and was knocked-out in the semifinals of the Italian Cup, and the qualifying rounds of the Europa League 2011/12.
After a season out of football, in the 2013/14 season Luis Enrique returned to Spanish football to manage Celta Vigo, where he coincided with Rafinha, on loan from FC Barcelona, and Nolito and Fontàs, former Barça players. Lucho’s season was pretty impressive: Celta ended La Liga season in a dignified ninth place and he received praise from everyone for his strong methodical and winning character.
The season 2014/15, his first as FC Barcelona coach, was the sporting highlight. The competitive spirit of the Asturian infected the blaugrana squad who recorded the domestic treble for the second time in the Club’s history. Barça claimed the league title by two points from second placed Real Madrid; in the Spanish Cup they defeated Athletic Club 3-1 in the final at Camp Nou and in the Champions League they saw off Juventus in the final also by a 3-1 scoreline.
As a player Luis Enrique played for Xeitosa and La Braña, and as a professional, for Sporting and Real Madrid before coming to FC Barcelona in the summer of 1996, with Bobby Robson at the helm. Lucho changed the Bernabeu for the Camp Nou, but his adaptation at the Club was so fast that he soon became one of the most beloved players by the Barcelona fans who always valued both his unwavering point of honor and fighting spirit, as well as his strong identification with the team colors. Luis Enrique, who got to wear the captain's armband, played for Barça until 2004, and got to play with players who are still in the team, like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta
He came to Can Barça in the 2013/14 preseason as a replacement for Tito Vilanova, who was unable to continue due to illness.
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino took over as manager of the first team on July 26, 2013, the day that he was formally presented in the Auditori 1899. He came to Can Barça in the 2013/14 preseason as a replacement for Tito Vilanova, who was unable to continue due to illness.
Born in Rosario (Argentina) on November 20, 1962, Martino joined Barça on July 26, 2013 after a highly successful playing career in South America and an impressive spell in charge of Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina. Tata’s Barça made a good start to the season, beating Atletico Madrid to take the Spanish Super Cup and then putting together the best ever start to a league season at the Club, with straight wins in the opening eight games, scoring 28 goals and conceding just 6. Martino also broke the record for most games unbeaten at the start of a season for a new coach at the Club, going 20 games without defeat (14 in the league, 4 in the Champions League and the 2 legs of the Spanish Super Cup), as his side chalked up 16 wins and four draws, scoring 52 goals and conceding only 11.
Unfortunately, that great start tapered off, as injuries to key players such as Valdés, Piqué, Alba, Neymar and Messi affected the team’s overall performances. However, they were only minutes away from a Spanish Cup final victory against Real Madrid and came into the final league game needing a win at home to Atletico Madrid to retain the title. After going one up in the first half, Martino’s side saw the eventual champions peg them back and take the point they needed to deny Barça the title. It was also Atletico who also dashed Martino’s European ambitions, dumping his side out in the quarter finals. At the end of the 2013/14 season, Martino left the Club, having seen glory cruelly snatched from him in the final game.
Of his 59 games in charge (38 in the league, 10 in the Champions League, 9 in the Spanish Cup and 2 Spanish Super Cup matches), Martino saw his side win 40 games draw 11 and lose 8 times, scoring a total of 148 goals and conceding 48.
Martino had been a skilful midfielder during a playing career that took him to Newell’s Old Boys, Tenerife, Lanús, O’Higgins and Barcelona de Guayaquil until he hung up his boots in 1996. His first managerial post came in 1998 and he went on to manage Club Libertad (Paraguay), the Paraguayan National side and Newell’s Old Boys.
FC Barcelona had a record season in La Liga with Tito on the bench. Under his guidance, the team established a new goalscoring record and broke the record for the most points won in the first half of the season in the history of Spanish football
On April 25 2014, at the age of 45, Tito passed away after a long struggle against the illness which was first diagnosed two and a half years earlier.
Born in Bellcaire d’Empordà, Girona, on September 17th 1969, Vilanova joined Barça’s youth system in 1984 - interestingly enough, this was the same year that Guardiola joined the team. Vilanova was part of one of La Masía’s most successful youth teams. The first-team manager applied his skills in the midfield, and was later promoted to Barça B and played three friendlies with the first team in the 1988/89 season.
He played professional football for Figueres, Celta (Primera Division), Badajoz, Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and Gramenet.
After hanging up his boots, Vilanova started his managerial career with FC Barcelona in 2001/02 when he took charge of the team’s U15 B squad. The team featured Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas and Leo Messi. He then managed Palafrugell, Figueres and Terrassa before reuniting with Josep Guardiola in 2007. Guardiola and Tito Vilanova, Pep’s assistant manager, guided Barça Athletic from Third Division to Second Division B. The following year the Guardiola-Vilanova duo took charge of Barça’s senior side, and led the team to 14 titles in 4 year. On April 27th of 2012, Vilanova was named head coach of FC Barcelona for the 2012/13 season after Guardiola announced his decision to voluntarily leave the Club.
Known for his strong personality and winning character, Vilanova is a student of football strategy and a clear supporter of controlling possession, combination play and fast-paced attacking football.
The results he secured confirmed his commitment to footballing excellence. In Barça’s La Liga campaign, his men won 100 points in their successful bid to win the title, they took control of the top of the table from the first week of the competition to the last; Barça’s domination was simply unquestionable. The stats speak for themselves, Barça equalled the record set by Real Madrid for the amount of points won in a single season, 100 out of 114 possible points. In addition, his men set a new goalscoring record: 115 goals scored from 38 consecutive matches. Vilanova’s record in La Liga stands at 32 victories, 4 draws and only 2 defeats, and he won the title with an advantage of 15 points of the second-placed team, Real Madrid. These stats are sufficiently demonstrative of Tito Vilanova’s tenure as FC Barcelona’s head manager. The 22nd league title in Barça history, which will always be known as Tito and Abidal’s title, will never be forgotten.
Vilanova also led his team to the semi-finals of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, but Barça didn’t reach the final of either competition.
Unfortunately, a serious illness – on the 22nd of November of 2011 the Club announced that the manager had a tumour on his parotid gland – didn’t allow Vilanova to fully focus on his team in the 2012/13 season and at the start of the following season he had to step down from his managerial duties. President Rosell announced the news on July 19th, 2013.
On April 25 2014, at the age of 45, Tito passed away after a long struggle against the illness which was first diagnosed two and a half years earlier.
Josep Guardiola i Sala was born in Santpedor on 18 January 1971. After a highly successful career as a Barça player and then gaining promotion as manager of Barça Atlètic, he won all six titles on offer in his first year in charge of the first team
Josep Guardiola, one of the most important players in Barcelona’s history, took over as first team manager on 17 June 2008 after a brilliant season as coach of Barça Atlètic with whom he won promotion to Second Division B. “I can’t promise you silverware, but I can say that we’ll keep on battling to the end and you’ll be proud of us,” he said on the day of his first Gamper Trophy. And he was right.
The fifteenth Catalan manager in the history of the club arrived with the mission to end a two-season long trophy drought. To do that he used the same 4-3-3 system he had experienced as a Barça player and which had brought him success at Barça Atlètic.
Guardiola only understands one way of playing football which is to attack, keep possession and move the ball around so that the other team has to run after it. That’s the way his Barça side plays, as did his Barça Atlètic, and they have had more possession and more shots on goal than virtually every team they have played. He appreciates the talent of his players but he puts hard work and individual sacrifice for the common cause first. He sees football as a squad sport in which he has ultimate responsibility for results and is therefore also the leader of the squad.
Josep Guardiola is a meticulous manager who sees to the tiniest of details. He gets ready for every game with videos of the opposition and never thinks beyond the next match. He is a brilliant motivator who brings the best out of each player in his squad. This philosophy of football led to his success as first team boss, when the team had their bets year in the history of the club winning the Spanish League and Cup double, the Champions League , both the European and Spanish Super Cups and the World Club Cup in the year of the six titles.
This excellent campaign means that Guardiola is now the third manager after Cruyff and Samitier to pick up the League title after having won it as a player at Barça. He has also become the sixth man to win the Champions League as a manager having previously done so as a player, and the first manager to win the treble in the 21st century and the first ever to win six titles in a single year.
In the 2009/10 season, Guardiola’s second in charge, the Liga title was won for the second year in a row, and the twentieth on club history, setting a new record of 99 points in the process. The title was not decided until the very last day, with a game against Valladolid, and the celebrations went ahead that very same evening in the company of the fans at the Camp Nou.
Before going into management, Guardiola was a class footballer who played almost all his career at FC Barcelona before going on to spells in Italy, Qatar and Mexico. He was at the Catalan club from when he joined its youth academy in 1984 until he left for Italy.
Among the trophies he won at Barça are six leagues (1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94, 97-98 and 98-99), a European Cup (91-92), a Cup Winners’ Cup (96-97) and two King’s Cups (96-97 and 97-98). During all this time Guardiola was the team’s organiser in his traditional number 4 shirt.
In Italy’s Serie A he made his debut with Brescia in the 2001-02 season, followed by a year with Roma before going back to Lombardy. Later on he went further afield to Al-Ahly in Qatar for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05) and Dorados de Sinaloa (Mexico), where he hung up his boots for the final time in 2006.
- 2011/2012 Spanish Supercup
- 2011/2012 World Club Cup
- 2011/2012 European Supercup
- 2010/2011 League
- 2010/2011 Champions League
- 2010/2011 Spanish Supercup
- 2009/10 League
- 2009/10 World Club Cup
- 2009/10 European Supercup
- 2009/10 Spanish Supercup
- 2008/09 Champions League
- 2008/09 League
- 2008/09 Copa del Rey
- 2007/08 Promotion to Second Division B
Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard, born on 30 September 1962 in Amsterdam (Holland), became FC Barcelona manager in the summer of 2003 to replace Radomir Antic. In his five seasons at the club, Rijkaard won numerous titles including two Leagues (2005 and 2006) and the Champions League (2006), and also did things in an elegant, consistent way with respect for all
Rijkaard, who came to Barça with the reputation of being a calm, sensible and honourable man, began his time in charge alongside fellow countryman Henk Ten Cate, ex-coach at Nac Breda, and Eusebio Sacristan, ex-member of the Dream Team, as assistant coaches.
As coach he was very open and communicative with all his colleagues and players. His footballing philosophy came from the Dutch school, characterised by attacking football, the importance of pressure and playing wide. He also focussed on defence, after five years in the Italian league as a player with AC Milan. At any event, he remained loyal to his principles and was a fine example of how to behave both on and off the pitch. Frank Rijkaard’s time at FC Barcelona was very positive in his first three years (2003-06), with two League titles and the club’s second Champions League, although this record wasn’t maintained in his last two seasons (2006-08)
Classification for the Champions League
The Rijkaard era began in 2003-04, with Ronaldinho as the big star on the pitch. The club had had four barren seasons and was playing in the UEFA Cup. After a poor first half to the season, the signing of Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids in the January transfer window was a turning point. The coach consolidated his tactical system and the team climbed up the table to finish second in the League, something which had seemed impossible in the darkest moments. Knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Celtic and the King’s Cup by Saragossa, Barça finished the season with just one title in the shape of the Catalan Cup, but at the end of the day had showed there was hope for the future.
The first League
In the 2004-05 season the team made a qualitative leap with the arrival of stars such as Eto’o, Deco, Larsson, Giuly, Edmílson, Belletti and Sylvinho. Despite four serious injuries in the first part of the championship (Motta, Gabri, Edmílson and Larsson), Barça overcame the difficulties and with attacking football won the League with authority. The title was won away at Llevant with three games still to go. The side also won the Catalan Cup that season, having been knocked out of the Champions League and the King’s Cup by Chelsea and Gramenet respectively.
2005/06: historic double
The pinnacle of Rijkaard’s achievement came in the 2005/06 season. His side dazzled Europe with memorable performances at Stamford Bridge (1-2) and San Siro (0-1), before winning the club’s second Champions League title in Paris against Arsenal (2-1). Barça also retained their League title with some spectacular football which included a winning streak of 14 games (including a 0-3 win at Bernabéu which led to them being applauded by the Madrid fans). They also won the European Super Cup by beating Betis, with the only negative point being elimination from the King’s Cup at the hands of Saragossa. At an individual level, in that virtually unsurpassable 2006 Rijkaard was chosen World’s Best Manager by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), ahead of José Mourinho and Juande Ramos.
Two barren seasons
The 2006-07 season was a disappointment. Knocked out on the away goals rule by Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League, goal difference deprived Barça of its third League title in a row. Also painful was elimination from the King’s Cup in the semi-finals by Getafe. Moreover Seville and Internacional de Porto Alegre defeated Barça in the European Super Cup and the World Club Championship respectively. The Spanish Super Cup and the Catalan Cup were the only titles to be won that season, with Espanyol as the runners-up in both cases.
The summer of 2007 saw the arrival of Henry, Touré, Abidal and Milito which in principle meant Barça had one of the best squads in its history. The team was one goal away from both the Champions League final and the King’s Cup final, with Manchester United and Valencia putting out the Catalans who perhaps deserved better on both occasions. In the League the team was unable to achieve the consistency required due to physical wear and tear and injuries, and ended up in third place.
Trophies and figures
On 8 May 2008 the club announced a change of coach: Frank Rijkaard was to be replaced by Josep Guardiola. In spite of two adverse years, the Dutch coach left with an excellent record: two League titles (2004-05 and 2005-06), a Champions League (2005-06), two Spanish Super Cups (2005-06 and 2006-07) and three Catalan Cups (2003-04, 2004-05 and 2006-07). In addition to these titles, with Frank Rijkaard FC Barcelona recovered an identity and style of playing which enabled it to rejoin football’s top flight both in Spain and in Europe.
Rijkaard managed Barça in 283 official games, with 167 victories, 64 draws and 52 defeats, scoring 544 goals and letting in 254. His win percentage was 59%, with an average of 1.92 goals scored and 0.89 conceded per game. His 112 victories in the League put him in second spot as a Barça coach in this competition behind Johan Cruyff on 183.
Experience before Barça
Rijkaard began his coaching career at the 1998 World Cup as assistant to Guus Hiddink with Holland. Between 1998 and 2000 he was the Dutch coach, and in 2001-02 managed Sparta Rotterdam.
An exemplary player as well
Rijkaard had an exceptional career as a player. He graduated from the Ajax youth academy and played for the Amsterdam outfit between the 1980-81 and 1987-88 seasons. In this latter season he also played for a few months at Real Saragossa, totalling 11 matches. Most of his greatest successes came with AC Milan between 1988 and 1993.
The trophies he won as a player include the European championship with Holland (1988), three European Cups (88-89, 89-90 and 94-95), the Cup Winners’ Cup (86-87), three European Super Cups (1989, 1990 and 1995), two Intercontinental Cups (1989 and 1990), five Dutch leagues (81-82, 82-83, 84-85, 93-94 and 94-95), two Italian leagues (91-92 and 92-93), two Italian Super Cups (1989 and 1994) and three Dutch Cups (82-83, 85-86 and 86-87).
Radomir Antic was born in Zitiste (Serbia) on 22nd November 1948. He joined FC Barcelona in January 2003 to take over from Louis van Gaal
Caretaker manager, Jesus Antonio de la Cruz, took temporary charge of team affairs until Antic took the reins with the team in 15th position in the Spanish League and well placed in the second phase of the Champions League. Like many other coaches, Radomir Antic was a player before he took up management. He started his playing career with Sloboda Tyzla of Yugoslavia (1967-1968) and then moved to the club where he would play most seasons, Partizan Belgrade (1968-1976). As coincidence would have it, Barça basketball coach Svetislav Pesic was playing in the Partizan basketball team at the same time.
In the 1976 season he signed for Turkish club Fenerbahce (1976-1977) before moving to the Spanish League where he played for Zaragoza (1977-1979). He later moved on to Luton Town in England where he played for 5 seasons (1979-1984).
He started his management career with Partizan Belgrade (1985-88) and continued with Spanish clubs Real Zaragoza (1988-1991), Real Madrid (1991-1992) and Real Oviedo. His most successful period to date was with Atletico de Madrid (1995-98). He won the League and Cup double in a 1995-96 season full of good football. He later returned to both Atletico de Madrid (1999 and 2000) and to Real Oviedo (2000-2001).
'The Boy from Pedralbes' hung up his boots in 1979, but immediately returned to the world of football, taking charge of Futbol Club Barcelona's youth team
Although he was a great player, Rexach spent his best years on the Barcelona bench, first accompanying Luis Aragonés (1987-1988) and later Johan Cruyff (1988-1996). With the first, who he substituted for certain games, he won the Spanish Cup against Real Sociedad of San Sebastian (1-0), and with Johan he won a seemingly endless list of titles, the most important being four consecutive leagues and the precious European Cup. He also took full control of the team when the Dutchman was so unfortunately forced into absence for a heart operation. Of the many fine memories that Rexach gave Barcelona's fans when he managed the team, the greatest of all was the 0-6 win in Bilbao, a game in which the Blaugrana totally humiliated Javier Clemente's men. Later on, on 1996, under completely different circumstances, Rexach substituted Cruyff after he had been sacked.
Towards the end of the 2000-2001 season, Charly once again took charge of the first team when the directors decided to substitute the manager who had started the season, Llorenç Serra Ferrer. That year, he led the team into the following season's Champions League, when the club defeated Valencia in the final league game of the season thanks to a spectacular last minute goal from Rivaldo. The next season, 2001-2002, Carles Rexach once again led the team to one of the top four places in the league and was on the verge of qualifying the side for the Champions League Final, but they were knocked out at the semi final stage by Real Madrid.
At the beginning of Louis Van Gaal's second period in charge at the club (2002-03), Carles Rexach was demoted from his position at the helm of the first team and became the club's technical secretary.
Llorenç Serra Ferrer, was born in Sa Pobla (Majorca) on 5th March 1953. He became manager of FC Barcelona in the summer of 2000 after Dutchman Louis van Gaal left the club.
Llorenç Serra Ferrer, was born in Sa Pobla (Majorca) on 5th March 1953. He became manager of FC Barcelona in the summer of 2000 after Dutchman Louis van Gaal left the club.
After being elected as the new manager of the club as the successor to Núñez, Joan Gaspart confirmed his officially as the new manager. Serra Ferrer was already working with the club where he had been in charge of the youth teams since July 1997. The Majorcan began his coaching career as manager of Poblec where he remained for five seasons. Later he was manager of the Majorca youth team and in season 85-86 he became manager of the first team and won promotion to the first division.
In season 1993-94 he joined Real Betis and that season he took the Andalusia club to the first division. In the following season Betis finished third in the championship and won a place in the UEFA Cup and in season 96-97 they played in the final of the Kings Cup against Barca. This fantastic form in charge of Betis opened the door to our club where, after three years as the man in charge of the youth squads, he became first team manager.
During his managerial guidance the team were knocked out of the first league stage of the Champions League and went on to play in the UEFA Cup where Liverpool blocked the path to the final. On the 23rd of April 2001, after losing a league match against Osasuna, he was replaced on the bench by Carles Rexach and returned to the technical staff of the club. A year later Serrer Ferrer left the club.
Louis van Gaal was born on 8th August 1951 in Amsterdam (Holland), very close to the old De Meer stadium, the team where he would learn his apprenticeship in football
In his youth Van Gaal combined his studies in Physical Education with his great passion: football. As a player he played in various teams in the First and Second divisions of the Dutch league such as De Meer, Ajax, Antwerp, Sparta Rotterdam and AZ. After playing with Ajax, Louis van Gaal played in second division teams until season 86-87 when he decided to hang up his boots when he was playing for AZ and became part of the coaching staff of this club. It was here that van Gaal took his first steps as a football manager. In 1988 after a year as manager of AZ, he was given the opportunity to join the coaching staff of Ajax and joined then as overall manager of the youth teams and then later as assistant manager. In season 1991-92 van Gaal became manager of Ajax and put together one of the greatest squads in the history of the team. This was a group which would go on to win many trophies at home and abroad.
In his first year in charge of the team, Ajax won the UEFA Cup and the following season Dutch Cup and Supercup. In season 93-94 he went a step further and won the Dutch league and the Dutch Supercup.
In season 94-95 Ajax again won the League Championship and the Supercup and as the icing on the cake for one of the best seasons in the history of the club, they won the European Cup against Milan. The last great victories of Ajax in the van Gaal era came in season 95-96 when the team won the Dutch League and Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup and the European Super Cup.
After a painful final year when Ajax finished fourth in the league, van Gaal who was being proclaimed as the successor to Cruyff, arrived at Futbol Club Barcelona as the replacement of Bobby Robson. His first days in charge of Barça were not easy and he had to fight so that the players understood his own personal football vision.
vangaal004.jpgSeason 1997-98 was his first year as manager of Barça and van Gaal managed to win three trophies with the club: the League, the Kings Cup and the European Super Cup. For the first time in 39 years Barca had won the double (League and Cup). His second season also saw him win the League which meant that after two seasons as manager van Gaal had managed to take the team to the forefront of Spanish football, something that had not been achieved since Enrique Fernández and Helenio Herrera. His third year in charge was to prove the most difficult as the team finished second in the League and was beaten in the semi-final of the Champions League and the Kings Cup. That season the club finished without any trophies.
After the president Josep Lluís Núñez had called elections for the presidency of the club in May 2000 and decided not to put himself forward as a candidate, Louis van Gaal also announced his resignation as manager and relinquished the year of his contract that he still had to run.
In season 2002-2003, after three season without winning a trophy, the president, Joan Gaspart, convinced van Gaal to return to the club as manager two years after he had left. Here now begins the Dutchman's second spell as manager of Barça.
vangaal002.jpgThis second period at the club finished in January 2003, after a poor run in the league, which had seen only 6 wins, with 5 games drawn and 8 lost, as a result of which, the board reached an amicable agreement with Van Gaal to terminate his contract.
Van Gaal managed the team for 201 games during his two periods at the club.
This English gentleman came to Barcelona with the difficult task of substituting Johan Cruyff
There is no doubt that the extra pressure that that supposed, added to heavy criticism of his tactical ideas, made it difficult for Bobby Robson to enjoy an easy season. Nevertheless, the English manager responded by winning titles against all the odds. ¨
Robson004.jpgThe team came second in the league, won the Cup Winners Cup against PSG (1-0) and also claimed the Spanish Cup, beating Betis (3-2) on an unforgettable night at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The semi final of that competition was also a memorable occasion, including an epic comeback at the Camp Nou.Despite success on the field, Bobby Robson's destiny was already decided before the season had started: Louis Van Gaal was always going to take over at Barça for the next few seasons. When the Dutchman arrived, Bobby Robson, who had enjoyed such a successful season on Barcelona's bench, was handed a position as part of the club's technical team.
Robson moved on from Barcelona in the summer of 1998, after succumbing to a tempting offer from one of his former clubs, PSV Eindhoven. In his two years at the club, the Englishman, who managed to get the best out of the young and effective Ronaldo, won himself a place in the hearts of Barcelona's supporters.
After having appeared for the club as a player, “El Flaco (The Skinny One)” returned to FC Barcelona for the 1988/89 season, this time to take up his new role as manager of the first team
However, before returning to the Catalan capital, Cruyff had already built up plenty of experience as a trainer. He debuted on the Ajax bench, the other of the two clubs he had starred at as a player. He led the team to a Dutch Cup title in 1986, followed by Cup Winners Cup success a year later. In Holland, he was strongly praised for the attacking flair he imposed on his sides and also for his commendable work as talent spotter, discovering, for example Marco Van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp.
Cruyff008.jpgWith Barça, Cruyff started work with a completely remodelled side after the previous season's scandal, known as the 'Hespereria Mutiny'. His second in command was Charly Rexach, who had already been at the Club for a year. Cruyff immediately had his Barça charges playing his attractive brand of football and the results did not take long in coming. But, this didn't just happen with the first team, the youth teams also displayed that same attacking style, something that made it easier for reserve players to make the switch to first team football. Without a doubt, such in-depth strengthening of the squad was one of the areas that best explains why Cruyff was such a huge success.
Cruyff010.jpgBut the eight years that he was in charge of the club - he is the trainer who has spent the most consecutive seasons on the Blaugrana bench - did not come without their difficulties for Johan. It shouldn't be forgotten that on January 27, 1991, he was subjected to open heart surgery, which was directly related to his many years of tobacco consumption. The operation marked a moment of inflection. From then on, the team got better year after year, to the point that Barça finally claimed the much desired European Cup at the majestic Wembley Stadium. The team that one four consecutive leagues came to be known as the 'Dream Team', and its lively, spectacular style won admirers all around the world. That team, apart from enjoying the presence of the best trio of foreigners in the world (Stoichkov, Laudrup and Koeman and, later, Romario), also had a strong core of Spaniards, essentially formed by Basques and Catalans (Bakero, Berguiristain, Salinas, Guardiola, Ferrer, Sergi...) who made up a solid block alongside other great players such as Amor, Nadal and Eusebio.
However, the Dutchman's two last seasons at the Club were far less successful, and during that time, Barça failed to capture a single title. As a result of his very public disagreements with the president, Josep Lluís Núñez, Cruyff left the club via the back door. It was only after a series of legal disputes that the Club and the Dutchman came to the agreement to stage two emotional testimonials at the Camp Nou and Amsterdam Arena.
Never in the history of the Club has any one manager won as many titles as Johan Cruyff: 1 European Cup, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 4 Leagues, 1 Spanish Cup, 1 European Super Cup and 3 Spanish Super Cups.
Cruyff died on 24 March 2016 after losing his battle with lung cancer.
This globetrotter of Spanish football, better known as “el Sabio de Hortaleza” (the wise man from Hortaleza) coached different teams all over Spain
Born in Hortaleza (Madrid) on 28th June 1938, Aragonés coached more First Division matches than any other manager. Luis Aragonés made his debut as a coach in the 74-75 season. He started out with the team he had starred in, Atlético de Madrid.
He entered Barcelona Football Club as a substitute for Terry Venables and succeeded in winning the Cup. His arrival coincided with one of the most delicate moments the Club has ever been through. Most of the players had joined ranks and had demanded that the president Josep Lluís Núñez resign, in the famous 'Motín de Hesperia' (Hesperia Mutiny) and Luis Aragonés gave them his unconditional support. Apart from this important event, Luis Aragonés, whose second coach was Charly Rexach, was unable to finish the season with the team owing to a depression.
Afterwards, he continued his career as a coach in other clubs such as Betis, Valencia, Espanyol, Mallorca and Atlético Madrid.
Luis Aragonés died on February 1, 2014 of a laukemia.
Terry Venables came to Barcelona Football Club with the difficult task of replacing ‘Skinny' Menotti, a manager who, despite not winning any important trophies with the team, had created an attractive and colourful style of football
The post-Maradona era was about to start. Venables was recommended by Bobby Robson, a good friend of the President and who himself, years later, would take over the team in the season that Ronaldo was here (1996-97). Terry, who due to managing Barcelona became known in England as 'El Tel', used a very English system, a classic 4-4-2, which took advantage of outstanding defenders like Gerado, Migueli and Julio Alberto and a very hard-working midfield led by the superb German, Bernd Schuster.
Venables won the League Championship in his first season and the following year took the team to that cursed final in Seville, the European Cup final of 1986. As well as this, he won the League Cup in the 1985-86 season.
In his last season, 1986-87, things did not go so well for him and he was replaced by Luis Aragonés, who managed the team until the end of the season.
The arrival of César Luis Menotti should have acted as a good shake up for the team which had shown signs of its quality, but which had not made the most of it under Udo Lettek
The Blue-and-Reds manager arrived with the intention of introducing his famous 'closing down of spaces' system, which consisted of putting the opposing team under heavy pressure by pushing the defence up. That season, however, Barça did not win the League Championship, although they beat Real Madrid to win both the Copa del Rey, with a splendid last minute header from Marcos, and the Copa de la Liga.
Menotti009.jpgThe following season should have been the one in which Schuster and Maradona, the great duo in the League, triumphed. However, it was not to be. The little Argentinian star suffered a serious injury after a fierce tackle from Athletic de Bilbao's central defender, Andoni Goikoetxea who had, curiously enough, already injured Bernd Schuster in the 1981-82 season. The team only managed to win the Spanish Super Cup and Menotti decided to leave the Club.
The sacking of Udo Lattek as first team manager led to José Luis Romero taking over on the manager's bench
He was only in charge of the team on one occasion, against Salamanca in the Helmántico stadium (1-1). Later he managed other First Division teams such as Logroñés, Betis and Cadiz.
Udo Lattek arrived at the Club with exceptional credentials after successes with Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchengladbach
In his first season something that no manager wants to happen, happened. After being at the top for the greater part of the championship and dominating the League with authority, with only 6 games to go he let the opportunity of winning the League slip through his hands and the trophy was lost to Real Sociedad, who had players of the calibre of Zamora, Sastrústegui and Arkonada. Udo Lattek salvaged the season by winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1982, beating Standard Liège at Camp Nou (2-1).
Lattek004.jpgOn 4th June 1982, after extensive negotiations, he pulled off the signing of the best player in the world at that time - Diego Armando Maradona. The Argentinian star, however, did not change a great deal, bringing more headaches to the club than anything else. Lattek began to find himself more and more isolated from the squad and the Board. He was sacked on 3rd March 1983, when Barça lost at home to League tail-enders, Racing Santander.
On 18th April 1979 Barça were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Valencia. The result of the return match was 4-0. Taking into account that Barça had won the first leg 4-1, this was a terrible blow for the team
The Board got to work immediately and decided to replace Lucien Müller with the Rifé-Torres duo. The first and only real objective that these two managers had was to ensure Barça got to the final of the Cup Winners' Cup, which was to be held in Basle. They not only managed to do this, but they also won the final, thus giving Barcelona Football Club its first important European trophy. 40,000 Barça supporters made their way to Switzerland to watch their team win the first of the four Cup Winners' Cups that Barça now has in its trophy cabinet .
The following season the team was knocked out of the Cup Winners' Cup by Valencia and Josep Lluis Núñez decided to put an end to Quimet Rifé's period on the bench, replacing him with Helenio Herrera, who came back for his second spell at Barcelona Football Club.
After an important period as a first team player, Müller hung up his boots at the age of 33, but was to return to Barcelona Football Club eleven years later
It was the 1978-79 season and Josep Lluís Nuñez had great faith in him, seeing him as the ideal replacement for the Dutchman, Marinus Michels, who had left a great impression on the Club. Müller had done great things with other First Division sides in the Spanish Championship, but Barça was just too big for him. The French manager did not last out the season, and was substituted by Joaquim Rifé, a home-grown man.
When Hennes Weissweiler left the manager's bench in April 1976, the Board of Barcelona Football Club immediately thought of Laureano Ruiz as his replacement
Ruiz, a Club man who had been in charge of the junior team for four years, had some good results during his short stay.
In the end he gave way to Marinus Michels, who began his second period as manager of Barcelona Football Club.
He arrived at Barcelona Football Club after a triumphant time managing Borussia Moenchengladbach
With the German team he won the UEFA Cup in the 1974-75 season, however, in Barcelona things did not work out for him as well as they had done in his own country. He had an added problem while at Barça: Johan Cruyff. The Dutch player never accepted this manager's working methods, an attitude which caused a rift amongst the supporters. The majority, obviously, supported the 'Flying Dutchman' and, as a consequence, Weissweiler ended up leaving the Club through the back door.
Marinus Michels arrived at Barça after winning everything with Ajax. ‘Mister Marble', as he was nicknamed, imposed a strict discipline among the Barcelona squad. In his first season, his only success was the winning of the great final of the Fairs Cup, which Barça won after beating Leeds United. In the League, an unexpected defeat against Cordoba, meant that they lost the title
The following season more or less the same thing happened, and the team did not win anything.
The Blue-and-Reds supporters had to wait until the arrival of Johan Cruyff, to see the League Championship title won. With him in the side, Michels's game plan had no holes in it and worked to perfection. Barça was once again proclaimed Champions, fourteen years after their last League trophy.The 1974-75 season saw a return to a stream of bad results and an absence of trophies.
It was then that Marinus Michels decided to put an end to his first period at Barça. He was soon to return, however, and was back on the bench at Camp Nou for the 1976-77 season. His stay at Barça ended in the 1977-78 season, when he won his third trophy with the club, the Copa del Rey.
Vic Buckingham entered Barcelona Football Club on 19th December 1969. Before signing up with Barça, the English coach had had a disastrous experience in the Greek League
Buckingham lost the reins of the team just as any possibility of winning the title was about to be ruled out. They were tenth in the League, eight points behind the leader. Finally, the situation improved considerably and the team ended up in fourth place.
1969 was a historic year, not only because of an epic victory, but because of the scandal caused by the referee Guruceta in the Camp Nou. In the Cup semi-finals, Barça were playing Real Madrid. Rifé tackled Velázquez and the referee awarded a penalty for a foul that had clearly taken place outside the area. The scandal was monumental.
The following season, Buckingham won the Cup after an exciting final against Valencia. However, in spite of his success, he was dismissed and substituted by the prestigious Marianus Michels, who had been coaching Ajax Amsterdam.
Vic Buckingham died in the mid-nineties. His death was deeply mourned by the team's followers.
This man replaced Artigas as first team manager and he made his debut on the bench against Sabadell
The curious thing about this manager is that he always had it very clear in his mind that his role was simply to be a caretaker-manager.
When Augustí Montal took over as President, Seguer was replaced by Vic Buckingham.
Salvador Artigas took over from Roque Olsen in the 1967-1968 season
Previously, he had played for the blue-and-reds, even though he had spent the greater part of his career as a footballer with Real Sociedad. Soon after, he continued his career with Girondin of Bordeaux. After that, he signed up with Barcelona Football Club and in his first season took the team to runners-up in the League and won the Cup.
In his second season, they finished in the same spot in the League as well as playing in the European Cup Winners Cup final against Slovan of Bratislava, which the blue-and-reds ended up losing 2-3. In his third season with the Club, he resigned only five games into the League competition.
Olsen was a Real Madrid player, but he was forced to hang up his boots early due to a serious knee injury
The season in which he took over the team was, in theory, a transitional period. Various players had to fit into the team; players who had been on loan, youngsters from the Barça youth squad - like Rexach, and other signings like Gallego (a great central defender), Muller or Reina.
His strong character and bad temper made him an unpopular manager with the players. After a defeat at the hands of Elche, he even went as far as dropping Vicente and Rey from the team because of their poor performances. Finally, in his first season as manager, the team ended up third in the League. Barça also won the Fairs Cup, beating Saragossa.
The following season, 1966-67, proved to be a complete disaster and the Board decided to do something about it by signing a new manager: Salvador Artigas.
On César Rodríguez's resignation Sassot, who had been involved with the youth teams in Barcelona Football Club, took over the running of the first team
However, after a good start everything went badly wrong. Being knocked out of the Fairs Cup by Strasbourg was the last straw. After three draws, the winner was decided on the toss of a coin and Barça went out of the competition.
Sasot left the team the following season.
This legendary striker for Barcelona Football Club started as manager whilst still playing for Elche. After a successful period with the club from Alicante, he decided to make his way to Saragossa
There, he was enormously successful, even playing in a Cup final against Barça. This, added to the promising career he had shown up to then, did not pass unnoticed by the Board of Barcelona Football Club, and he was signed as manager in the 1963-64 season. However, with Barça, the luck which he had had with other teams deserted him and, after a season and a half on the manager's bench, he resigned.
Together with his brother Gonzalvo III and Sans, he formed part of the best set of midfield players the team has ever had. He played more than 200 matches with Barça
When he came to work as a coach, it was to substitute his colleague Ladislao Kubala. It was in the second half of the 62-63 season and the team was going through trying times. Even though Barça ended up winning the Cup Final, Gonzalvo left his position at the end of the year.
Josep Gonzalvo died in 1978 after undergoing an operation which led to further complications.
As a player, he became one of the legends in the history of Barcelona Football Club. However, he was not as fortunate in his career as a coach and his stay with Barça was considerably shorter
Enric Llaudet, the president of the Club between 1961 and 1962, asked him not to cut his links with the Club and suggested that he direct the Football Players' School. Kubala was thus linked to Barça in case things with the professional squad did not work out well and that is just how it turned out. Laszi lost the reins of the team and was dismissed in 1963, after the team was eliminated from the Fair's Cup in a match against Red Star Belgrade.Nevertheless, Kubala decided to make a dramatic change in the 1963-1964 season and accepted an offer from Espanyol to become player-coach alongside his great friend Alfredo Di Stefano.
After searching for new incentives, Kubala went on to coach other teams such as Murcia, Elche and Málaga, amongst others. He even coached a Swiss and two Canadian teams. Later on, he was in charge of the Spanish team for two seasons.
He returned to Barcelona Football Club in 1980 only to leave the club again five months later.Kubala died on the 17th May 2002 as a result of a long-term illness which had confined him to bed in a Barcelona hospital since the month of February that year.
Lluís Miró was the first coach of the Llaudet presidency, coming in to replace Kubala after Barça had lost 6-2 to Valencia
Miró managed FC Barcelona in the 1961-62 season, and was also in charge of Valladolid, Valencia, Sevilla, Olympique Marseille, Roma, Malaga and the Spanish national team (as a trainer but not manager). Before going into management, Lluís Miró was a goalkeeper for Barça, and it was he in fact who played in goal in the infamous fallacy of a match against Real Madrid in 1943, which Barça lost 11-1.
Enrique Orizaola had a short-lived period as manager, staying at the Club for only five months. He arrived on 12th January 1961 as a replacement for Brocic
With Oriozola on the bench, the team reached the final of the European Cup, which was played that year in Bern, Switzerland. After the so-called 'Final of the Cursed Posts', which Barça lost to Benfica, 3-2, the re-building of the team began. On 7th June, Laudet was re-elected President after a hard fought campaign against Fuset. Unpopular decisions were taken, such as letting Kubala go and new players like Pesudo, Pereda, Seminario, etc were signed. Lluís Miró was to become the new manager.
Brocic did not spend even one whole season on the Barcelona Football Club bench. He arrived at the beginning of the 60-61 season and signed up some important players such as Jesús Garay, Salvador Sadurní and Josep Maria Fusté
The season looked promising because Barça won absolutely all of the friendly matches it played against other European teams. Even when the League began, Barcelona Football Club won the first four matches but little by little, it fell into a deep crisis and the results made the team the disgrace in the First Division.
On 12th January 1961, after drawing 2-2 to Athletic Bilbao in the Camp Nou, Brocic was dismissed and the second trainer, Oriazola took over coaching the first team.
Enric Rabassa was Helenio Herrera's assistant when the latter was sacked
Enric Rabassa was Helenio Herrera's assistant when the latter was sacked. Consequently, he took over the running of the team during the final stages of the season and, despite spending very little time at the Club, he managed to win the Fairs Cup.
Popularly known as “el mago” (the magician), Herrera left a great mark on Barcelona Football Club
Besides his famous quotations such as 'ten players play a better game than eleven' or 'we'll win the match without even getting off the coach', he is remembered for the attractive one-touch game which astonished Europe in his first two seasons with the Club.His first period began on 22nd April 1958, when he arrived from Seville. Over these two years he won two Leagues, one Cup and two Fair's Cups. But not everything ran smoothly for the coach.
He had a confrontation with Kubala, who was gradually losing popularity. In his second year, despite winning the League championship again, the team's aim to win the European Cup was frustrated after losing against Barça's eternal rival, Real Madrid. Helenio Herrera was dismissed immediately. His most brilliant period as a coach came later, with Luisito Suarez' Inter, a period in which he won the European Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, and so on.He returned to Barça in the 79-80 season to substitute Quimet Rifé and then again in 1981, to substitute Kubala as coach.
If there is one feature that should be highlighted about this man, it is that he pioneered the psychological preparation of the players, as well as the use of a sweeper. Helenio Herrera always had a very good relationship with the players because they had come to terms with the fact that the coach would always be in the limelight of their success.
Domènec Balmanya had been a notable player for the team in the first half of the forties, when the Club won the Cup in 1942
After his career as a player, he entered the coaching team , together with some of his old colleagues, such as Miró and Vidal de Cárcer, after having obtained a coaching title in 1950. Before beginning his career as a coach for Barça (56-57), Balmanya had already coached teams such as Zaragoza and Oviedo. In his first season, Balmanya won the Cup having beaten Espanyol at the Estadi de Monjuïc. He was dismissed at the end of the following season, despite having won the first edition of the Fair's Cup.He ended his career coaching for Sant Andreu.
Barça thought he would be the ideal replacement for Daucik. Before coming to Barcelona he had managed the Turkish national side, which had dispensed with Spain in the World Cup in Switzerland
Possibly the Barça Board started to seriously consider him for this reason. He did not have a great deal of luck while with the team. Barça ended the season as runners-up in the League and they were knocked out of the Cup in the semi-finals.
He came to Barcelona Football Club together with his brother-in-law, Kubala. He coached the team from 1950 to 1954
The beginning of his period with the team was difficult and some of his decisions were rather unfortunate. However, when Kubala began to play, his luck changed radically. Barça turned into a football-making machine.
His enviable list of trophies includes two League Cups, one Latin Cup, three Spanish Cups and two Eva Duarte Cups.His contract with the Club ended in the 53-54 season when, after clashing with some of the team players, he left the Club via the back door.
This likeable character dedicated all his life to Barcelona Football Club
He played as a goalkeeper and after his retirement continued in Barça as one of the trainers, becoming a true spotter and moulder of talent. He discovered players like Biosca or Manchón, etc. He managed the first team in the period between Fernández and Daucik.
Enrique Fernández returned to the Club for the 47-48 season after retiring from play after a serious knee injury
Its first year with the Uruguayan coach was very successful for Barça given that they won the League at the last moment. The following season, they won the title again, on the last day of the season, leaving the Valencia team behind. In the 1949-1950 season, the team won the first edition of the Latin Cup against the champions of Italy, France and Portugal. They came fifth in the League, which caused followers and players to lose faith in him. He was finally dismissed and Daucik took over.
Josep Samitier's contribution to Barça was not limited to his outstanding ability as a player. In 1944, he started an important period as manager of the Club
With him on the bench the team won the League Championship, something which they had not been able to do since 1929. As well as the League, Sami also won the Cup de l'Ajuntament de Vilafranca, the Gold Cup of the Argentinian Republic and the Copa Pavelló de l'Esport.
Samitier died in Barcelona in the spring of 1972. The death of this excellent player was heartfelt and he was greatly mourned throughout the city.
Joan Josep Nogués played for Barcelona Football Club before and after the Civil War
In the autumn years of his career in the first team, he was called on to take charge of Barça's professional squad and substitute another ex-player, Gúzman. With the man from Aragon on the manager's bench, the team experienced one of the strangest situations in the history of Barça. On the one hand Barça won the Cup, whilst on the other they were on the point of going down. Luckily, the team managed to beat Murcia in a tense and desperate relegation play-off.
In the season of his departure, Müller was substituted by another all time great, Josep Samitier.
After his period as a player, Guzmán's career as a coach was far from being a fortunate one and after the bad results
He was dismissed half-way through the season, to be substituted by Josep Nogués. Ramón Guzmán died on 1st April 1954, after collapsing during a veterans match he was playing in Les Corts.
After retiring, following a career as an outstanding player for Barça, he decided to become a manager
Good results with modest teams like El Ferrol, preceded his arrival at Barça. He was a great innovator, being years ahead of his time both tactically and regarding new training methods. It was the first Barça manager who changed the trainning methods.
This charismatic Irish manager arrived at Barcelona Football Club in the 1934-35 season, after taking Betis to first place in the League Championship of the previous season
The Civil War broke out when O'Connell was in charge of the team. The team, under O'Connel, then went on tour to the American continent.
This ex-Barça goalkeeper became manager of the first team when he took over from Jack Demby
While he was running the team, Barça won the Campeonat de Catalunya in the 1934-35 season. The following year the club signed Patrick O'Connell to run the first team.Four decades later, Barcelona Football Club again signed Platko.
This time, however, he did not have a good season and he was definitively released from the club. His replacement on this occasion would be Domènec Balmanya.
James Bellamy, together with Romà Forns, had the honour to have formed part of the coaching team that led Barcelona Football Club to win the first League in history
Furthermore, the club won the Campeonato de Catalunya in the 29-30 and 30-31 seasons. However, to his detriment, it must be said that with him as coach, Barça underwent one of the most deplorable events and its biggest defeat in all of its history, losing 12-1 in the League Championship.
Romà Forns coached the team after a brilliant career as a player
He entered the Club in the 26-27 season, after the team itself had proposed that he be their coach and he had the honour of winning the first League in history. It should be mentioned that besides being a player, he was also part of the Board of Directors before becoming a coach.
He coached Barcelona Football Club in two different stages (1926-1927 and 1933-1934)
In his first period, he was in charge of training young promising stars, among other tasks within the Club. His second period was so catastrophic that he sent a letter signed by himself and the players asking for a substantial reduction in their bonuses.
An internationally prestigious coach, he was signed up by Arcadi Balaguer in order to make the team champions
Despite the fact that he won the team the Catalan and Spanish titles, he never really managed to get on with the team, who could not understand the coach's language or the coaching methods he employed.
In his only season running the first team he managed to win both competitions Barça participated in: the Spanish Cup and the Campeonat de Catalunya
In his only season in charge of the first team he won both titles at stake, the Spanish Cup and the Catalan Championship
Jesza Poszony came to Barça to manage the fourth teams, the feeders to the amateur team. When Spouncer
left, he was promoted to the first team, but despite his success, he decided to return to his native Hungary.
Englishman Spouncer was only at FC Barcelona for one season, with inconsistent results
William Alfred Spouncer was an English international who made his name at Nottingham Forest. He retired in 1911 and in October 1923 was contracted as FC Barcelona manager. Spouncer was on the bench for the 1923-24 season with bittersweet result. His team stormed to victory in the Catalan Championship with ten wins out of ten, but at the Spanish Championship they were soundly beaten, 6-1, by Real Union Irun, in the semi-final replay.
This English coach who had settled in Catalonia has gone down in history as Barça's first official coach
Greenwell moved from Crook Town to play for Barça. He took over as Blaugrana Coach following the departure of John Barrow. He remained on the bench for six consecutive seasons, a record that has only been bettered by Johan Cruyff. In his first year, a group of club members demanded his resignation but the president, Joan Gamper, defended him and he eventually won two Spanish Cups and 4 Campeonatos de Catalunya.
In his second period as Barça coach, he did not win as much silverware as in the first. In fact, the team only won one Campeonato de Catalunya.
Officially considered to have been the first coach in the history of the Club
He was signed up by Hans Gamper and was soon dismissed him four months after they had signed his contract, without winnin a title.