Who is Sergi Barjuan, Barcelona's new interim manager?
Following a poor run of form, and as financial challenges mount, Ronald Koeman was sacked and an interim coach placed in charge at Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona news:
Koeman gone, Barjuan in
Rumours had already been rife long before his sacking about who would replace the Dutchman, with former midfield maestro Xavi Hernández the clear favourite, but as a new day dawned, it was announced that Sergi Barjuan would be taking over in the meantime.
The club released the following statement.
‘FC Barcelona hereby announces that Sergi Barjuan, the current coach of Barça B, shall be taking provisional charge of the technical management of the senior squad. His interim position as first team head coach shall end as soon as the club has hired full-time head coach to replace the dismissed Ronald Koeman.
FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, shall be officially introducing Sergi Barjuan to the first team squad this afternoon before the training session at the Ciutat Esportiva.
Sergi Barjuan will be attending to the media tomorrow Thursday from 1.00pm CEST in the pressroom at the Ciutat Esportiva to discuss the game against Alavés, with president Joan Laporta also appearing.’
Who is Sergi Barjuan?
It was back in June of this year that Barça announced Barjuan (born 28/12/1971) was to be the new coach of the reserve team, with a contract running until June 2023. Clearly that has had to be amended given the latest developments.
Sergi, who was a left back of Johan Cruyff's last ‘Dream Team’ - winning the domestic league and reaching the European Cup final in the 1993-94 season - had been one of the faces linked to Laporta's candidacy in the summer.
He had already coached at La Masia, guiding Barça's Juvenil B youth team between 2009 and 2011, before managing, rather unsuccessfully, Recreativo in the 2012-13 season. His next move was to Mallorca in 2016-17 and he then headed further afield to broaden his experience with Chinese Zhenjiang Greentown between 2017 and 2019.
Next up for the Catalan giants is a home game to Alavés on Saturday 30 October followed by a Champions League trip to Dynamo Kyiv, with some reports suggesting that Xavi could be in place as new permanent manager between the two fixtures. Currently in ninth place in LaLiga, six points off top spot, and at risk of not qualifying for the European knockout stage, every single game carries with it extra significance and pressure.