Barcelona have moved swiftly to announce the replacement for Gerardo Martino, who stepped down as the club manager after the disappointing season. Barcelona failed to win any major trophy for the first time since the 2007-08 season. They also failed to reach the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time in eight years. Due to the disappointments and also the perceived negativity in terms of style of football, Martino announced that he would be stepping down from his role after just 12 months of becoming the club manager.
Barcelona have not wasted any time, with the World Cup approaching, in naming the new manager. They have been heavily linked with their former captain Luis Enrique for the last few weeks. After the end of the Spanish campaign, Enrique left his position as the Celta de Vigo manager. This appeared to confirm that he would be seemingly heading towards Barcelona. It has now been confirmed in an official statement from the club. He will now become only the second person behind Guardiola to have not only captained the team, but also to have managed the reserve team and then went on to become the manager of the first-team.
Enrique has had only disappointing spells as a manager up until now. “The FC Barcelona board of directors have this evening confirmed Luís Enrique Martínez as the new first-team coach, following a proposal from sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta. Luís Enrique, 44, will sign a two-year deal,” said a statement on the club’s official site. Barcelona have been busy in the negotiations of contracts over the last few weeks. They recently managed to secure Lionel Messi on a new long-term contract, which made him the world’s highest-paid player earning around £ 15.5 million per year. Gerard Pique has also been in contract negotiations as well.