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Ronald Koeman named as new Barcelona boss




Ronald Koeman named as new Barcelona boss

Koeman, 57 has signed a two-year deal with Barcelona as a replacement for the sacked Quique Setien.

Barcelona have made quick changes in the dugout to replace Quique Setien in the wake of a shocking 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich and a failed title defence – finishing second to bitter rivals, Real Madrid.

The Dutchman steps into the hot seat after leaving his post in charge of the Netherlands national team to replace Quique Setien in the Camp Nou.

Ronald Koeman comes to FC Barcelona with a wealth of experience after coaching in the Premier League, La Liga, the Dutch league, the Portuguese league and also on the international stage with the Netherlands.

Koeman was part of the Barcelona dream team under Johan Cryuff at the height of his playing career between 1989 and 1995, amassing four league titles and the European Cup, scoring the winner in the final against Sampdoria at Wembley in 1992. He was also Louis van Gaal’s assistant from 1998 to 2000.

He has now made a return to club management for the first time since leaving Everton in 2018, and will be tasked with steadying a shaky and uncertain Barcelona side following a disastrous 2019-20 campaign.

Ex-Real Betis boss leaves just seven months after replacing Ernesto Valverde who lost his job in January, despite the club being top of the table in La Liga.

Setien paid the price for their failure to win the La Liga and the 8-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, which was their worst defeat since 1946.

Barcelona have also parted company with sporting director, Eric Abidal. They have announced Ramon Planes who was his assistant as the new man for the job.

Koeman faces an uphill task as club captain and talisman Lionel Messi has indicated his intention to leave the club as soon as possible and an aging squad which needs changes. Barca would also be without Marc-Andre ter Stergen till November after a knee surgery. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to drastically reduce their spending power.

Koeman will not have enough time to implement any changes, either. The 2020-21 LaLiga season is due to commence in a little under a month’s time.

It is widely believed that efforts are being made to bring back former player and current Al Sadd coach Xavi as a long-term replacement having been unsuccessful in their bid to do that so far. Mauricio Pochettino was also touted as a possible replacement, but it is believed the option was turned down by club president, Bartomeu and members of the board.

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