Luis Enrique has finally revealed that he will step down as Barcelona’s manager at the end of this season. After Barcelona’s win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, Luis Enrique lifted the curtain over his future and made it very clear that he will be leaving at the end of the current season. Whatever he has done and achieved during his time at Barcelona, a few tears will be shed at Camp Nou. Luis Enrique took charge from Pep Guardiola and led the side in the same manner, making Barça a more formidable team. Arguments can be presented against his greatness, but there’s no doubt he won almost everything with the club.
A season treble, winning the UEFA Champions League, lifting the FIFA Club World Cup and the less talked about UEFA Super Cup; the Spaniard has nearly everything shelved. In 164 games he managed for Barça, he has just 18 defeats to his name, but when it comes to victories, the numbers are sky high. With 125 wins and 21 draws, Luis Enrique has transformed Barcelona into a destructive Guardians of Camp Nou. How can someone even forget his biggest creation, MSN!
This season, Barcelona are at the top of La Liga table, and have kept the chase tickling. But it was the hammering that Barça received at the hands of PSG two weeks ago in the UEFA Champions League knock-out stage that sealed the fate of Enrique. Without prolonging the debate, Luis Enrique was among the best managers Barça ever had and just like others he also had his highs and lows. However, the real mystery that needs to be resolved is who is going to replace him at Camp Nou? Well, we have compiled a list of our top five picks to replace the Spaniard. Let’s have a look:
The former Chilean and the current Sevilla boss, Jorge Sampaoli is the most favorite to land the job. Sampaoli, who was interviewed last season for Chelsea’s job, has done a commendable job at Sevilla. The side is currently sitting third in La Liga, only two points behind the leaders, Barcelona. Sevilla are the hot favorites to get a direct qualification post for the UEFA Champions League next season, ahead of Atletico Madrid. The ex-Chilean boss has a perfect resume to replace Luis Enrique, but the internal politics at Camp Nou might become a formidable barrier.
The former Barcelona player who had a brief spell at Camp Nou and has had the pleasure of playing under the legendary Johan Cruyff is the second hot favorite to replace Luis Enrique at Camp Nou. The current Athletic Bilbao’s manager is the perfect candidate to replace Luis Enrique. He has managed Villarreal, Valencia, and Espanyol in La Liga and was the runner-up in the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 with the latter. The 53-year-old impressed everyone with his dominance while managing Olympiakos in Greece, winning three league titles. His profile seems picture perfect for what Barcelona is looking for.
Some may have been shocked by seeing the Argentinean’s name on the list, but it’s no surprise since he is one of the leading managers in the Premier League. His progressive style of play has won him many fans in England and his ability to identify the finest emerging talent makes him a great prospect. The Tottenham manager is very likely to be picked by Barça for the role, but reports from White Hart Lane suggests that Spurs will do everything to hold their manager. But Barça would love to interview him as they seem big fans of his work.
The former PSG manager, who left the club last season with mutual consent, is currently without a job. The former Barcelona defender led the French side to 11 trophies in three seasons. He has a proven record to his name, but with so many options available, Blanc might not fit the bill for Barça. However, if reports are to believed than the 51-year-old was contacted by Barça officials as they seem in a rush to find a replacement for Luis Enrique.
The current Everton boss is the second-most favorite figure to land a job at Barça from the English Premier League. Everton is currently sitting at the seventh sport on the Premier League table, and the Dutch manager has done a commendable job with the Toffees. The former Barcelona player appeared for Barça on 192 occasions over the course of six years and was part of Johan Cruyff’s dream team. His managerial credentials are extremely impressive. But is he the man to lead Barça? Well, managing Barça is a dream occupation for the 53-year-old Dutchman.
Who do you think should replace Luis Enrique at Barca? Share your picks with us!