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Laporta gambles on Hansi Flick to revive Barcelona’s lustre

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At the top of April, Barcelona president Joan Laporta, choking with emotion, mentioned he was “proud” to have Xavi Hernandez staying on as coach for subsequent season.

Before May had run its course, Laporta sacked the previous Barca midfield nice and appointed German coach Hansi Flick in his stead.

Since the president was re-elected for his second spell in cost in March 2021, Barcelona have been and not using a coherent plan, working purely on vibes. It can solely get you to date.

Selling off areas of the membership and compromising future revenue to lift speedy funds for heavy switch funding, Laporta opted for a get-success-quick technique, with restricted outcomes.

Barcelona received the 2022/23 La Liga title for the primary time since 2019, however they’ve nonetheless struggled in Europe.

This season all the pieces fell to items, with Real Madrid storming to La Liga glory and Barcelona ending the marketing campaign trophyless.

“It’s fantastic news that Xavi is staying — the team we have, which is growing with many young talents, needs this stability,” mentioned Laporta, weeks earlier than performing a spectacular u-turn.

Xavi for his half didn’t mince his phrases in regards to the challenges that confronted Flick.

“You will suffer — this is a very complicated place to be,” Xavi warned his successor.

Barcelona’s ‘entorno’ — all the pieces swirling across the membership that will increase strain, from the media to the followers, to loose-lipped administrators and former gamers chipping in — will keep the identical.

However, in hiring Flick, the membership’s path has modified.

The majority of their coaches have performed for Barcelona — Xavi, Ronald Koeman, Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola amongst others.

Flick, then again, has by no means performed or coached in Spain, not to mention on the membership itself.

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The 59-year-old’s best success was main Bayern Munich to a sextuple in 2020, together with an 8-2 humiliation of Barcelona, however he struggled with the German nationwide workforce, turning into their first coach ever to be sacked.

Barca’s sporting director Deco warned in February that Barcelona ought to transfer away from their conventional “tiki-taka” type.

“The president agrees with me on this, a deep change is needed — there is a method that is worn out,” he mentioned.


– ‘A deep change is needed’ –

Flick’s type is attacking however extra direct than Barcelona normally try and play, with extra crossing.

The coach shall be comfortable to work with Ilkay Gundogan, whom he appointed Germany captain, and Robert Lewandowski, a key participant in his triumphant Bayern Munich facet.

He boasts teaching expertise which Xavi lacked, having solely labored at Al-Sadd in Qatar earlier than taking the reins at Camp Nou.

Flick tends to arrange in a 4-2-3-1 formation, moderately than Barcelona’s 4-3-3, though they don’t seem to be far eliminated.

The membership’s monetary difficulties shall be a key consider whether or not the German can enhance Barcelona’s fortunes.

After pivot Sergio Busquets left, Barcelona did not adequately change him, unable to afford Xavi’s fundamental goal, Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.

With new champions and rivals Real Madrid set to signal Paris Saint-Germain celebrity Kylian Mbappe, maintaining with Los Blancos shall be a tough job for any coach.




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