Thursday, June 24, 2021

Jordi Cruyff returns to Barcelona in ´strategic role´

SoccerNews in La Liga 3 Jun 2021

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Jordi Cruyff will take up a “strategic role” in Barcelona’s hierarchy from the start of August, the club have confirmed.

Cruyff had been linked with a high-profile position in the club’s organisational structure for many months, with his name routinely mentioned alongside Joan Laporta’s ever since Barcelona’s presidential election campaigns began.

The Dutchman, son of Barca icon Johan Cruyff, has been in charge at Chinese Super League side Shenzhen since last August and was seemingly unable to get out of his contract in March when links to the Camp Nou were at their strongest.

However, Barca outlined that his move to the club has been finalised for August, a deal that has been “possible thanks to the collaboration of the Chinese team”, its ownership group and president despite Cruyff’s contract running beyond the end of the CSL season.

A Barca statement on Thursday read: “FC Barcelona announces that Jordi Cruyff will join the football area of the club and form part of the new organisational structure as of August 1.

“Jordi Cruyff, who was a player in Barca’s youth teams and in the Barca first team from 1993 to 1996, returns in a strategic role.

“His arrival has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Chinese team, Shenzhen FC, whom he joined as coach in 2020, the Kaisa group and the president of the Chinese team, Kwok Ying Shing. 

“All played a decisive role in facilitating his departure to FC Barcelona, despite still having a contract in force, and we will therefore be happy to seek future possibilities of collaboration.”

It is unclear precisely what Cruyff’s job title will be, with Ramon Planes currently installed as the club’s technical secretary and Mateu Alemany recently hired as their new director of football.

However, his hiring will be seen as a smart move by Laporta given Cruyff’s experience in managerial and directorial positions at other clubs, not to mention his family history at Camp Nou.

It remains to be seen how his hiring goes down with incumbent head coach Ronald Koeman, though.

Speculation regarding the sacking of Koeman has been rife, and the hiring of his countryman Cruyff into an unspecified hierarchical position could sit uneasy with the former Netherlands boss, particularly given he has been regarded as one of the candidates most likely to replace him.

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