FC Barcelona officially announced on Wednesday that Gerard López will be the Barça B coach for the next two seasons. The new coach, who is currently the Catalan national team boss, was born on March 12th 1979 and is himself a product of the Club’s academy system before becoming a first team player between 2000 and 2005.
Gerard López will attend his first session with the players on Wednesday evening at the Torremirona complex and upon the announcement of his new job, he told the media:
“It’s an honour to come back to Barça. My family has close connections with the Club and I spent a long time here – coming back is the best thing that could have happened to me”.
“As Barça B coach, I will have two objectives: getting the side back into Segona A and helping to prepare the players to make the step up to the first team”.
“My experience in the academy system will be of great use to me because I can put myself into the players’ shoes. I’m eager to start work and I am sure that alongside Pep Segura, we’ll do a great job”.
Ex-academy and first team player Gerard López, is coming into the job as Barça B coach with the aim of restoring the side’s Segona A position after last season’s relegation from the Spanish second tier. After his stint as national team manager, the Catalan will now take on his first management job at the Club.
Gerard arrived at the Club aged 11 and after working his way through the academy system he signed for Valencia in 1997. After a loan period with Alaves, he returned to the Mestalla and soon became a star of the team, attracting the attention of Europe’s leading Clubs, but opting to return to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2000.
Taking the iconic number 14 shirt. Gerard played five seasons with the first team, making 140 appearances, scoring 10 goals and winning a league title under Frank Rijkaard in his last season at the Club (2004/05).
He then played two seasons in the French league with Monaco, before returning to the Spanish game with Recreativo de Huelva and then Girona before hanging up his boots. He completed his coaching badges whilst working for both the Catalan and Spanish national TV stations as an analyst and in 2013 he took over from Johan Cruyff as the Catalan national team coach.