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Ronald Koeman: Barcelona name former player as new head coach

Ronald Koeman (right)

Ronald Koeman has been named the new head coach of Barcelona two days after the club sacked Quique Setien.

The 57-year-old left his role as Netherlands boss, with two years left on his contract, to sign a two-year deal with the Spanish giants.

He played for Barcelona between 1989 and 1995, helping them to four league titles and the European Cup.

The Catalans finished second in La Liga last season, failing to win a trophy for the first time since 2007-08.

The five-point gap to champions Real Madrid and the humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final last week culminated in the dismissal of Setien on Monday.

The club also announced Ramon Planes as the new technical director. He was the assistant to Eric Abidal, who left his role as sporting director on Tuesday.

Koeman is due to speak at a news conference at 17:00 BST.

Mixed fortunes for Koeman

Koeman had his first taste of coaching when he was assistant to national team coach Guus Hiddink during the 1998 World Cup, before becoming Louis van Gaal’s right-hand man at the Nou Camp from 1998 to 2000.

He eventually went on to have success as a manager back in his homeland, winning league titles with Ajax and PSV. A brief stint at Valencia in 2007 brought Copa del Rey success, but he was sacked after the side finished only two points above the relegation zone in La Liga.

After spells at AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord, Koeman was appointed by Southampton in 2014 where he was a huge success, guiding the Premier League club to seventh- and sixth-place finishes, which resulted in qualification for the Europa League group stage.

Everton came calling in 2017 but his time at Goodison Park only lasted 16 months, Koeman departing with the club in the bottom three.

But that disappointment was soon forgotten when in February 2018 he was appointed coach of the Dutch national team, who had failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Koeman led the side to the final of the Uefa Nations League and helped them qualify for Euro 2020.

Ronald Koeman holds the European Cup as a Barcelona player

Upheaval at Barcelona – timeline
13 January 2020 Quique Setien hired as Barcelona boss on a two-and-a-half-year deal as successor to the sacked Ernesto Valverde
19 January 2020 Wins his first game in charge as Lionel Messi scores the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Granada
6 February 2020 Knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage by Athletic Bilbao
1 March 2020 Loses El Clasico to Real Madrid, who move above Barcelona at the top of La Liga
16 July 2020 Barca relinquish La Liga title and lose their 30-game home unbeaten run as Osasuna win 2-1 at the Nou Camp
14 August 2020 Barca suffer a record 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich and are knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals
17 August 2020 Barcelona sack Quique Setien
18 August 2020 Ronald Koeman declares interest in taking vacant position; Barcelona part company with sporting director Eric Abidal
19 August 2020 Koeman appointed new Barcelona coach

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BBC Sport – Sport

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