Barça hire ex-Germany boss Flick on 2-year deal

Barcelona have announced the appointment of former Bayern Munich and Germany coach Hansi Flick as the club’s new manager on a two-year contract.

Flick, 59, replaces Xavi Hernández, who managed his final game with the club on Sunday, a 2-1 LaLiga victory against Sevilla, after being sacked last week.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

“It is a big honour and a dream to sign the contract with this amazing club,” Flick said. “The hours I have been here in Barcelona have been amazing. Everyone here loves this club and gives their best to have success.

“The philosophy is similar to mine: ball possession and really attacking football, which are things I love. Barcelona also have one of best academies in the world and a good mix between experience and young talent. It’s our job now to work together and to improve them. For me, the team work is really important.

“I won titles with Bayern. My hunger for titles is really big and I would like to stay on this path with Barcelona. We can achieve a lot together.”

Flick has been out of work since September 2023, when he was fired by the German national team following a group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup and a run of poor results after the tournament.

He had previously overseen great success at Bayern, winning the Champions League as part of a historic treble in 2020 before he took on the Germany job in the summer of 2021.

Barça has had long-standing interest in the German coach; ESPN reported in 2021 that club president Joan Laporta had sounded out his availability while he was still in charge of Bayern.

On that occasion, he had already committed to the Germany job, but Laporta has remained a fan and talks with Flick’s camp have been constant since Xavi announced in January that he would step down.

Flick’s chances of landing the Barça job appeared to end last month when it was revealed Xavi would fulfil his contract, which was due to run until 2025, but events then took another turn.

Remarks made by Xavi about the club’s difficult financial position did not go down well with Laporta, and sources told ESPN that the Barça president was never quite convinced by the Catalan coach.

That led to Xavi’s dismissal last week, with the former Spain international saying on Saturday he “respected and accepted the decision” even if he would have preferred to leave “in other circumstances.”

Xavi has agreed to give up the final year of his salary, which sources told ESPN was due to be around €12 million.

However, he will be paid back a substantial part of the €2.5m he paid from his own pocket to secure his exit from his previous job with Al Sadd in 2021. The six members of his backroom staff will also be remunerated for the final year of their contracts at a cost of around €4m to Barça.

Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman at the end of 2021, steering the team from ninth in LaLiga to a second-placed finish in his first campaign in charge.

He then led Barça to their first LaLiga title since 2019 in 2022-23, also winning the Spanish Supercopa, but a trophyless campaign this time around led the club to opt for a change of direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *