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Gabri sat in the offices at La Masia

Gabri is back at Barça after eight years / Photo: FCB archive

Former FC Barcelona first team star Gabriel García ‘Gabri’ is returning to the club as assistant manager to Eusebio Sacristán and Carlos Hugo García at Barça B. The 25 year old Catalan midfielder left the club for Ajax Amsterdam in 2006, where he played until 2009/2010 before retiring in Switzerland.

Gabri came up through the youth ranks at FC Barcelona, forming part of the same generation as the likes of Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández. He played for Barça B between 1997 and 1999 and on August 22, 1999 he made his first team debut in a 1-0 win over Real Zaragoza at the Camp Nou. That was the first game of the season in which, under Louis Van Gaal, he went on to play a total of 17 league games, plus 4 in the cup and 9 in the Champions League, scoring 6 goals.

First team star

2000/2001 was his breakthrough season. He became a regular feature of the first team, albeit often as a substitute, with his versatility meaning he could slot into several different positions from defender to attacking midfielder, but always on the right.

His career was blighted by injuries. In December 2004 he suffered the biggest setback of all when he tore cruciate ligaments in his right knee and was side-lined for six months. He was back just in time to join in with the celebrations of the 2004/05 league championship, his first major professional honour.

At Barça, Gabri won two Ligas (2004/2005 and 2005/2006), one Spanish Super Cup (2005), two Catalan Cups (2003/2004 and 2004/2005) and one Champions League (2005/2006).

After Barça

In June 2006 he left the club after seven seasons in the first team, and joined Ajax Amsterdam. He was a regular starter under Henk ten Cate and became noted for scoring long-range goals, many of which were match winners. His honours at Ajax were two Dutch Super Cups (2006 and 2007) and two Dutch Cups (2007 and 2009).

Four years later, he left Amsterdam for Umm-Salal Sports Club in Qatar, where he spent one season before returning to Europe in 2011 and FC Sion of Switzerland. From there, he moved to FC Lausanne-Sport in the same country, his last professional club. In 2012 he returned to FC Sion, this time as assistant manager to Sébastien Fournier.

Eight years after leaving, Gabri is now back at Barça as assistant manager of FC Barcelona B, where he’ll be hoping to help new players to the kind of success that he himself enjoyed.

Honours

2003-2004 Copa Catalunya (FC Barcelona)

2004-2005 Copa Catalunya (FC Barcelona)

2004-2005 Spanish League (FC Barcelona)

2005-2005 Spanish Super Cup (FC Barcelona)

2005-2006 Champions League (FC Barcelona)

2005-2006 Spansih League (FC Barcelona)

2006  Dutch Super Cup (Ajax Amstedam)

2007 Dutch Super Cup (Ajax Amstedam)

2007 Dutch League (Ajax Amstedam)

2009 Dutch League (Ajax Amstedam)


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