Albert Celades (Barcelona, 29 September 1975) will be returning to Camp Nou on Saturday as the new Valencia manager, following the dismissal of Marcelino García Toral.
Celades was a product of the Barça youth system and played in the first team for four seasons before departing for Celta two decades ago.
He debuted in blaugrana under Johan Cruyff, on 30 September 1995 at the Santiago Bernabéu in a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid. A few weeks later, a 5-1 win at Betis had people raving about the so-called ‘Quinta del Mini’, the young generation featuring himself, Iván de la Peña, Toni Velamazán, Roger Garcia and Juan Carlos Moreno.
Playing mainly as a defensive midfielder, he made a total of 106 first team appearances and scored six goals.
In 1999, with Louis van Gaal now manager, he embarked on a journey that would take him from Celta to Real Madrid, Bordeaux (loan), Real Zaragoza, the New York Red Bulls. He never truly broke into the Spanish national team, but did get to play at the 1998 World Cup.
Celades went into coaching, and was in charge of the Spanish U17, U18 and U21 teams at different points, as well as acting as assistant manager of the senior side, including at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
Last year he worked as assistant to Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid, and his final game in that role was the Clásico at the Camp Nou, which Barça famously won 5-1.