Ronald Koeman has described Barcelona as his "dream club" after being appointed their new head coach on a two-year deal.
Koeman spent six years at the Camp Nou as a player and scored Barcelona’s winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final. He will leave his job in charge of the Netherlands national team to replace Quique Setién at Camp Nou following his sacking on Friday and claims the chance to do so was impossible to turn down.
“Everyone knows that Barcelona is my dream club,” Koeman told the Dutch Football Association’s website. “It feels very special to me to be able to become a coach there.
“It was an honour to be the national coach of the Netherlands. Over the past two and a half years, I have done everything I can to achieve success. I look back with pride on what we have achieved together in that period. The Dutch national team has a bright future, I am convinced of that.”
Barcelona's president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, had confirmed the club's intention to appoint Koeman, who was sacked as Everton manager in October 2017, on Tuesday, shortly after he had arrived in the city. He will be the third man to manage Barcelona this year with Setién having replaced Ernesto Valverde in January.
"FC Barcelona and Ronald Koeman have reached an agreement for the Dutchman to take over as first-team coach until June 30th 2022," read a club statement.
Barcelona also announced on Wednesday that Ramon Planes is the club's new technical secretary, a day after Eric Abidal was sacked from the post.
Planes will be tasked with overseeing the club's transfers and in particular managing a huge squad overhaul alongside Koeman in the wake of last week's 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Planes has worked as a sporting director at a host of Spanish clubs including Espanyol, Alavés and Getafe, plus one year in a similar role at Tottenham Hotspur.
Koeman, who made 350 appearances as a defender for Barcelona and scored 106 goals, will inherit a side which finished second to arch-rivals Real Madrid in La Liga with five points separating the teams. Barcelona also failed to win a major trophy this season for the first time since 2013-14 and last lifted the Champions League in 2015, under Luis Enrique.
He faces a huge rebuilding job and has publicly been assured by Bartomeu that Lionel Messi will remain at the club following reports in the wake of the defeat to Bayern that the forward was desperate to leave Barcelona. - Guardian