Teamwork makes the dream work

Barcelona hires Hansi Flick as coach on a two-year contract after Xavi’s exit

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Barcelona has changed Xavi Hernández with former Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick, who commanded the German staff’s 8-2 rout of the Catalan membership 4 years in the past.

Flick signed a two-year contract with Barcelona, which introduced his hiring Wednesday simply minutes after confirming that it reached an settlement to sever ties with Xavi.

“It is a large honor and in addition a dream for me to signal my contract right here in Barcelona, to work for this superb membership,” the 59-year-old Flick advised membership media.

It’s Flick’s first teaching job since being fired by Germany in September final 12 months. He beforehand spent two years at Bayern, profitable the Champions League and back-to-back German league titles.

“I received some titles with Bayern Munich and my starvation is actually large for titles. I want to keep on this path with Barcelona. We will obtain quite a bit collectively,” Flick stated in English.

The brand new coach spoke of his and the membership’s matching philosophies round ball possession and attacking soccer: “These are the issues I really like.”

He praised Barcelona’s mixture of youth and expertise.

“Barcelona has the most effective academies on the planet and a great combine between skilled gamers and younger proficient gamers. We’ve got to groove them (so) that they will enhance. That is our job.”

Flick, who was Bayern’s coach for the 8-2 victory within the Champions League quarterfinals in 2020, signed the contract at Barcelona’s workplaces accompanied by staff officers, together with sporting director Deco.

In an announcement, Barcelona stated it selected “a person well-known for his groups’ excessive urgent, intense and daring fashion of play which has introduced him nice success at membership degree and worldwide degree, profitable just about all there may be to win on the planet of soccer.”

Xavi, a midfield nice as a participant at Barcelona, left after the staff completed a distant second to fierce rival Actual Madrid within the Spanish league this season.

Xavi coached his final recreation with the Catalan membership on Sunday within the Spanish league, a 2-1 win at Sevilla.

His departure got here a month after he had walked again a earlier determination he made in January to depart the membership this summer time. In April, he stated that he had modified his thoughts as a result of the staff was enjoying higher and he believed it may bounce again from a trophy-less season.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta had publicly celebrated Xavi’s dedication to remain at the moment. However final week the president was reportedly sad when the pinnacle coach spoke brazenly about how the membership’s poor funds would impede it from competing with Actual Madrid.

Flick is one among simply two European managers who can boast the sextuple of trophies in the identical calendar 12 months.

He shall be reunited with former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who’s now with the Catalan membership. Flick additionally coached goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen and midfielder Ilkay Gündogan throughout his time as Germany coach.

Flick would be the third German coach in Barcelona’s historical past, following Hennes Weisweiler and Udo Lattek.

Flick’s Bayern received the Champions League title towards Paris Saint-Germain after the trouncing of Barcelona. It was a part of a shocking streak of titles within the depths of the pandemic which additionally included the Bundesliga, German Cup and Membership World Cup.

Till now, that two-year stint at Bayern was Flick’s solely profession job with a top-division membership. Earlier than that, he was finest referred to as an assistant coach on the World Cup-winning German staff of 2014.

Flick left Bayern for the German nationwide staff in 2021 however was fired final 12 months after overseeing a 4-1 pleasant loss to Japan that was Germany’s sixth recreation in a row with no win. Germany’s group-stage exit on the World Cup in 2022 was additionally a significant component and followers had been involved his administration fashion had alienated key gamers.

A documentary following the German staff in 2022 included scenes of Flick attempting to encourage constructive considering amongst gamers who appeared bored or distant. One scene featured the squad being proven video of geese in an train apparently meant to enhance teamwork, prompting widespread mockery from German followers.

Barcelona’s final overseas coach was Dutchman Ronald Koeman, who helped the membership win the Copa del Rey within the 2020-21 season. Earlier than that, Argentine Gerardo Tata Martino was in cost through the 2013-14 season.

Reporting by The Related Press.

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