Ronald Koeman named as Barcelona new head coach

Ronald Koeman (right)
Ronald Koeman (right) arrived at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Tuesday

Ronald Koeman has been named the new head coach of Barcelona two days after the club sacked Quique Setien.

The 57-year-old left his role as Netherlands boss, with two years left on his contract, to sign a two-year deal with the Spanish giants.

He played for Barcelona between 1989 and 1995, helping them to four league titles and the European Cup.

The Catalans finished second in La Liga last season, failing to win a trophy for the first time since 2007-08.

The five-point gap to champions Real Madrid and the humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final last week culminated in the dismissal of Setien on Monday.

The club also announced Ramon Planes as the new technical director. He was the assistant to Eric Abidal, who left his role as sporting director on Tuesday.

Koeman is due to speak at a news conference at 17:00 BST.

Koeman had his first taste of coaching when he was assistant to national team coach Guus Hiddink during the 1998 World Cup, before becoming Louis van Gaal’s right-hand man at the Nou Camp from 1998 to 2000.

He eventually went on to have success as a manager back in his homeland, winning league titles with Ajax and PSV. A brief stint at Valencia in 2007 brought Copa del Rey success, but he was sacked after the side finished only two points above the relegation zone in La Liga.

After spells at AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord, Koeman was appointed by Southampton in 2014 where he was a huge success, guiding the Premier League club to seventh- and sixth-place finishes, which resulted in qualification for the Europa League group stage.

Everton come calling in 2017, but his time at Goodison Park only lasted 16 months, Koeman departing with the club in bottom three.

But that disappointment was soon forgotten when in February 2018 he was appointed coach of the Dutch national team, who had failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Koeman led the side to the final of the UEFA Nations League and helped them qualify for Euro 2020.

 

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