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5 worst Barcelona managers of all time

FC Barcelona sacked Quique Setien earlier this month
FC Barcelona sacked Quique Setien earlier this month
Modified 20 Aug 2020, 19:36 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

Barcelona are one of the most decorated clubs in world football and have enjoyed unrelenting success over the years. The Catalan giants are renowned for their brand of free-flowing attacking football and are amongst a handful of clubs to have produced style and substance in equal measure.

Some of the greatest managers in the history of the game have graced the Camp Nou over the years, as the club dominated La Liga as well as Europe for sustained periods. Most recently, Pep Guardiola's all-conquering team set the standard in Europe, while Luis Enrique's pragmatic Catalans sealed an unprecedented treble less than five years ago.

However, in recent seasons, Barcelona have suffered due to a combination of factors on and off the pitch.

With the old guard of Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez approaching the twilight years of their careers, the Catalan giants are in desperate need of a rebuild.

Barcelona look to kickstart a new era under Koeman

Ronald Koeman has been appointed Quique Setien
Ronald Koeman has been appointed Quique Setien's successor

Ronald Koeman has been appointed as Barcelona's new manager after the club's dismal 2019-20 campaign. The Blaugrana finished trophyless and surrendered the La Liga title to arch-rivals Real Madrid, while they were embarrassed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Dutchman has his work cut out for him to accomplish what managers in the past have failed to do so — successfully oversee a rebuild and shape a new era at the club.


On that note, here are five managers who failed miserably for Barcelona and went down in the history books for all the wrong reasons.

Note: The list is in no particular order

#5 Quique Setien | January 2019 - August 2019

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Starting off with the most recent name on the list, Quique Setien's Barcelona dream quickly turned into a nightmare. The former Real Betis manager was drafted in midseason as a replacement for Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked for his failure to turn around a series of underwhelming results.

Setien's eye-catching brand of football appealed to the Barcelona board, while the 61-year-old's Cruyffian philosophy was also something the Catalans craved for at the time. Right from the get-go, it never felt like the right appointment, considering the time of his arrival and the state of the squad he inherited.


Barcelona's ageing stars reportedly fell out with the manager and his coaching staff, as videos emerged of Lionel Messi ignoring Setien's tactical advice during a La Liga game. The Catalans were pipped to the league title by Real Madrid and their misery was compounded in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Hansi Flick's rampant treble chasers recorded a comprehensive 8-2 victory, a result that sent shockwaves across Europe and eventually cost Setien his job. The Spaniard did not have enough time to turn this around at the Camp Nou, but his short stint at the club was catastrophic, to say the least.

#4 Ladislav Kubala | May 1980 - November 1980

Barcelona fans pose alongside Ladislav Kubala
Barcelona fans pose alongside Ladislav Kubala's statue outside the Camp Nou

A prolific goalscorer for Barcelona back in the day, Ladislav Kubala had two notorious stints with the club as manager. While his first stint lasted the best part of two years, the second one went down in history for all the wrong reasons. Kubala was the manager of the Spanish national team in 1980, when Barcelona came calling for him once again.

The Hungarian accepted the Barcelona job while he was still in charge of Spain — a situation that is comparable to Julen Lopetegui and Real Madrid in 2018 — and endured a disastrous spell in the 1980 European Championships.


Things got worse for Kubala in Barcelona, as he won just six of his 13 games in charge in his second stint at the club. He was relieved of his duties midway through the season, with Helenio Herrera replacing him at the helm of Barcelona.

Also Read: 5 players who will play for Real Madrid or Barcelona in the future

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Published 20 Aug 2020, 19:36 IST
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