One of the oldest and most well-known football clubs in the history of the sport; the FC Barcelona has been struggling over the past seasons in the Spanish first division in order to get back on track. It has definitely been a bumpy ride for the Catalan group as many of its football have began to diminish their usual shine; either due to injuries or constant internal affairs that do not seem to reconcile.
However, the Barça continues to be an European football powerhouse with 18 Liga titles, 7 Spain Supercopa, 2 UEFA Championship League, 24 Copa del Rey and 2 European Super Cups as background. The team draws large amounts of followers due to the magnificent play display and its football players who make the show worth seeing; players such as: Samuel Eto’o, Xavi, Ronaldinho, Gianluca Zambrotta, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, and Rafael Márquez have supported the Spanish team for the recent era.
As of 2003 the Spanish club hired former AC Milan and Dutch star Frank Rijkaard to lead the club and during his first season the Barcelona obtained the Liga championship besides the Super Copa and one of the most incredible accomplishments a UEFA Champions League title which ended the team’s drought of 14 years.
Most recently during the 2006-07 season the Barcelona began to show some signs of weakness as the club finished second in the Liga and were not able to conquer any other European tournament. Therefore; the team’s leaders decided it was time for a major change as they have asked Rijkaard to step down.
“Joan Laporta [FC Barcelona President] has announced that Frank Rijkaard will end his career at the club at the end of this current 2007/08 season. Josep Buardiola, current coach of Barça B, has been picked as his replacement on the bench of FC Barcelona. “After a meeting of the Board of Directors, the president Joan Laporta appeared before the media to announce the takeover on the bench of the first team of FC Barcelona at the end of the season. On June 30, Frank Rijkaard will no longer be coach of FC Barcelona and Josep Guardiola will be his replacement.”
The announcement has left many questions as what exactly happened in the club’s locker room as despite the Dutch Coach’s success his leave has become a need. Many have stated the real reason is the players themselves who don’t count with the proper encouragements and a positive attitude besides the obvious disagreements between the club and some of their super stars as Ronaldihno and Thierry Henry. Others claim that two years without a title is a clear sign it is time for a new approach in order to shift the future.
On the other hand, new coach Guardiola who will take over from the beginning of the new football season was leading the FC Barcelona B team since 2007 and he has a vast knowledge in the sport as he is a former Al Ahly of Qatar, Brescia, AS Roma, and Mexico’s Dorados player. We certainly hope to see an improvement in the team’s play and attitude as it has everything required to be one of Spain’s top winners and achieve a new title during the 2008-09 campaign.