4 potential replacements for Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona manager
Having overseen some disastrous results in recent weeks, Ernesto Valverde finds his position as Barcelona coach under scrutiny.
The 55-year-old has won La Liga in each of his two seasons in charge, but his failures on the continental stage have been detrimental to his legacy, especially coming as they did - with Barcelona throwing away healthy three-goal cushions from the first leg to be eliminated by Roma and Liverpool.
Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the 2019 Copa del Rey represented the final straw in the eyes of many, with social media awash with fans voicing their displeasure and calling for the former Athletic Bilbao manager’s sack.
Even though Lionel Messi and club president Josep Bartomeu have come out to publicly back their manager, followers of the game know that these public show of faith very rarely translate to much, as there are numerous instances in the past of boards expressing support only to terminate their coach’s contracts later.
The Barcelona manager’s job is one of the most prestigious in the world and if a vacancy was to exist, you can be sure that a host of world class coaches would jump at the opportunity to manage Lionel Messi. In this piece, we shall be having a rundown of four managers who could potentially replace Ernesto Valverde in the Barcelona dugout.
#4 Eusebio Sacristan
Eusebio Sacristan is no stranger to Barcelona, having spent almost 15 years at the club in different roles.
The 55-year-old starred in midfield at the Nou Camp for seven seasons between 1988 and 1995, playing an integral role in the 'dream team' which won a plethora of trophies under the legendary Johan Cruyff before departing for Celta Vigo.
He returned in 2003 and was assistant manager to Frank Rjikaard for five years, where he helped usher in the glorious period which the club enjoys till this day.
After coaching Celta Vigo for the 2009-2010 season, Sacristan once more returned to Catalunya, this time as head coach of Barcelona B and he spent the next four years in this position, before being dismissed in acrimonious circumstances in 2015.
An appointment as Real Sociedad's head coach in November 2015 followed, which was a position he held until the termination of his appointment in March 2018.
Last summer, he was named as Girona's head coach, but having failed to keep the Catalan club in the Spanish top flight, Sacristan was fired as Girona boss at the end of the just concluded season.