Hansi Flick Becomes the New Coach of FC Barcelona

Hansi Flick Becomes the New Coach of FC Barcelona
Hansi Flick (Credit: Getty Images)

FC Barcelona has announced the hiring of Hansi Flick as the team’s new coach, replacing Xavi Hernandez. The 59-year-old German coach will be linked to Barcelona for the next 2 seasons and will have the same associations as during his time in his national team (2021-2023: goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic — best man at Manuel Neuer’s wedding, enemy public of Barça captain Ter Stegen—and Marcus Sorg. And he will have a salary similar to what he earned in the Mannschaft: close to six million gross.

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Barca, for its part, will take charge of the physical trainers, an issue that worried the sports management during Xavi’s time, and is also looking for a link between the coach and the squad. At first, the entity tested the idea of ​​Thiago Alcantara joining the new Barcelona staff. The midfielder, however, does not want to hang up his boots. Flick, in any case, has been taking Spanish classes for months.

Flick landed in Barcelona this Tuesday. However, Barca could not make his hiring official until they agreed to release Xavi. The Catalan coach finally forgave 11 million of the 20 million that he and his staff had to collect until June 2025. Flick will be Joan Laporta’s third coach in his second stage as Barcelona president since he took office in March 2021.

In his previous cycle, from 2003 to 2010, he only had two: Frank Rijkaard (2003 to 2008) and Pep Guardiola (2008 to 2010). Upon his return, in this second stage, the first coach he had was inherited from Josep Maria Bartomeu: Ronald Koeman. Laporta was never convinced by the Dutchman and, after asking him for time to find a coach (he did not succeed), he fired him in November of the same year after losing to Rayo. Laporta’s second bet was Perfect Shield for the Board. He has lasted two and a half seasons.

Flick is then Laporta’s first bet. The German coach, who arrives at the Barca entity after almost a year of inactivity on the bench after leading his national team in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is represented by Pini Zahavi, a close friend of the president of Barcelona. The first contact between Flick and Barcelona’s sports management happened last Wednesday in London. There Deco [football director] and Bojan [football commission] talked with the German. “He really likes the group of players there. He believes there is a good team to compete. Now we have to analyze which players can continue, how their contracts are, and based on the financial fair-play that we can achieve [the club hopes to close the agreement with Nike and aspires to resell Barca Visions] analyze among all the signings to be made to complete the squad”, they explain from the sports area.

“He is a bit of a fan of Spain and spent so many summers on vacation there with the whole family. I’m happy for him after all the setbacks he had with Bayern Munich and the German national team,” said Lotthar Matthaus, Flick’s former teammate and good friend. He added: “For him, it is a great challenge despite the economic difficulties he will encounter in Barcelona. He will meet up with old friends in his new sporting projects like Ter Stegen, Gündogan, and Lewandowski.”

This Tuesday night, Flick had dinner with Laporta in Barcelona. They were joined by Deco, Bojan Krkic, and the directors Joan Soler, Enric Masip, and Rafa Yuste.

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