Ronald Koeman appointed Barcelona head coach on two-year deal

Fifty-seven-year-old Dutchman Ronald Koeman replaces Quique Setien, who was sacked following Barca’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and he will be presented to the media at 5 pm (UK time) on Wednesday.

Koeman, who spent six years as a player at Barcelona and was a member of Johan Cruyff’s legendary ‘Dream Team’, has taken on the job after he left his role as manager of the Netherlands, which he had held since 2018.

He won four La Liga titles and scored the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final during his playing days at the Nou Camp, and was the preferred candidate of Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Speaking on Tuesday – before Koeman’s appointment was confirmed – Bartomeu told Barcelona’s website: “We already know how he thinks and his philosophy. We bet on him. He was the first one we called in January.

“It’s a dream for him. As he was in Johan’s ‘Dream Team’, he knows Barca and how we understand football.”

Setien was only appointed in January but left after overseeing Barca’s first season without a trophy since 2007/08.

Sporting director Eric Abidal – also a former Barcelona player – followed Setien through the exit door after leaving his role as sporting director on Tuesday. He has been replaced by his understudy, Ramon Planes.

Other contenders to replace Setien included Mauricio Pochettino, who was the preferred candidate of Planes. However, there was understood to be resistance towards the former Tottenham manager because of his links with Barca’s city rivals, Espanyol, where he was both a player and a manager.

Other board members were keen on Xavi, who is currently in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar.

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