Barcelona - Barcelona have appointed their former captain and outgoing Celta Vigo manager Luis Enrique as their new coach to replace Gerardo Martino on Monday after a disappointing trophyless season, the club said.
Enrique, 44, scored 109 goals in 300 appearances for the Catalan team
in eight years after joining from rivals Real Madrid in 1996, and also
had great success in three seasons as Barca B coach.
board is betting on him bringing the 2012-2013 title holders back to
glory after they ended this season without a major trophy for the first
time in six years, forcing Martino to quit after just one season in
As part of the overhaul, Barcelona also confirmed on
Monday that 22-year-old German international Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will
join them from Borussia Monchengladbach next season, replacing Spain's
Victor Valdes as first-choice goalkeeper.
Enrique will sign a
two-year deal as new first team coach and be officially presented on
Wednesday, the club said in a statement on Monday evening.
pedigree as an old Barcelona hero raised excitement after the
disappointment over Martino, who was hired just two weeks before the
latest campaign began following the late Tito Vilanova's sudden
resignation due to cancer.
As a player, Enrique "soon became a
firm favourite with the fans for his competitive attitude. In addition,
his versatility, knack of scoring big goals and technical ability made
him a key member of the team", Barcelona said in its statement.
In his first three seasons he won two league titles, two Spanish cups, a European Cup Winners Cup and a European Super Cup.
succeeded Pep Guardiola as Barca B coach in 2008 and led them back to
the second tier of Spanish football for the first time in 11 years in
his second season, with a record-breaking points haul.
He went to manage Roma in 2011 but left after one season when the Italian side failed to qualify for any European competition.
He joined Celta Vigo in June 2013 and coached them to ninth in La Liga this season, their highest finish in eight years.Barcelona
narrowly missed out on winning La Liga on Saturday in a 1-1 home draw
to Atletico Madrid, who took the title for the first time in 18 years in
a dramatic decider.
With a new goalkeeper and two players
returning from spells on loan, Rafinha Alcantara and Gerard Delofeu, the
team now seeks to restore hope to the Camp Nou under the attack-minded
Goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto will join Valdes in leaving
Barcelona after six-and-a-half seasons with the club, while Stegen "is
one of the first additions at Barca for the 2014/15 season," the club
said in a statement Monday.
"The board of directors would like to
publicly thank the professionalism and dedication shown by Jose Manuel
Pinto during his years at the club," said sporting director Andoni
Zubizarreta after announcing the 38-year-old would not be offered a new
Ter Stegen has long been indicated as the man to replace
Valdes since the Spanish international announced his intention not to
renew his contract 18 months ago.
Capped four times by Germany,
Ter Stegen has become an undisputed starter in the Monchengladbach goal
over the past three seasons making 108 appearances in the Bundesliga in
His finest moment on the international stage came in saving
a penalty from his new Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi in a friendly
against Argentina in August 2012.
However, he conceded a horror
own goal as an experimental German side lost 4-3 to the United States in
June last year and hasn't been included in Joachim Loew's provisional
30-man squad for next month's World Cup.
The club said Alcantara,
who worked with Enrique while on loan at Celta Vigo this season, and
Delofeu who has been on loan at Everton, will also return to the Barca
first team squad next season.