BARCELONA

Official: Ronald Koeman, Barcelona coach until 2022

Ronald Koeman was officially appointed as Barcelona's new coach on Wednesday. He signed a two-year contract, until 2022 and will be presented at 18:00 hours in the Auditori 1899.

Official: Ronald Koeman, Barcelona coach until 2022
CRAIG BROUGH Action Images via Reuters

Ronald Koeman was officially named Barcelona's new coach on Wednesday, he signed a two-year contract with the Catalan club, taking him to June 2022. Koeman was be formally presented in the Auditori 1899 at Camp Nou at 18:00 hours local time (CEST).

Koeman, hero of Wembley 92

The Dutchman was 29 years when he broke down in tears on the pitch at Wembley almost three decades ago - back then, nobody could have imagined that the hero of Barça's first European Cup, would be appointed as first team coach at Camp Nou. Blaugrana fans will always remember Koeman's decisive free-kick, on that fateful 20 May 1992 which made the club champions of Europe for the first time. Koeman returns to rescue a club in turmoil and a team which ended the season trophy-less - the first time in 12 years that Barça have finished a campaign without any silverware at all.

Koeman arrived at El Prat airport at 17:00 hours on Tuesday on a flight from Amsterdam. Barça CEO Òscar Grau had flown out to Holland to negotiate Koeman's severance package with the Dutch Football Federation, who Barcelona must pay a fee of around five million euros in compensation. The 57-year-old will remain Barça for the new season and the one after that - providing his position is supported by whichever president is voted in in March's elections.

Abidal leaves Technical Secretary post

Koeman's arrival was preceded by the unexpected announcement of Eric Abidal's departure yesterday, which forced Barça to change their itinerary for the day. The Dutch coach was spotted in Zeist, at the Dutch Football Federation on Tuesday morning. By 13:00 hours, it became known that he would be taking the Barça job, as he told reporters, "Yes, I'd like to, but it will only be confirmed once I have signed the contract. Until then, I cannot say any more about it - even though I'd like to".

Throughout the day, the first reactions to Koeman's imminent appointment started to come in. Andoni Zubizarreta, ex-team mate from 1989 to 1994, said, "Koeman has the personality to coach at a club like Barcelona". Meanwhile, Rivaldo, who worked with Koeman when the Dutchman was learning the trade as Louis van Gaal's assistant at the end of the 90s, gave his thoughts. "I know him well, he's the ideal person for the job, I learned a lot from him during that time".