Hansi Flick announced as new FC Barcelona coach: what can we expect next season?

FC Barcelona fans now know who’ll be leading their side next season. Hansi Flick has been confirmed by the Blaugrana as the club’s new coach, taking over from Xavi Hernandez.

The move potentially marks a change in the club’s first team vision, with Flick known for his team’s more direct philosophy, with a high pressing, intense and daring style of play, and with Barça fans historically accustomed to a game which prioritizes control of possession, and which shies away from very marked transitions.

The move is firmly focused on winning trophies, with FC Barcelona having just closed the 2023/24 season with no titles in the trophy cabinet. Xavi had previously won the 2022/23 title in his first full season in charge, but his side struggled to show that same consistency last campaign.

After a playing career which saw him turn out for Bayern Munich and FC Koln in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a relatively late bloomer as a head coach. Five years as coach of 1899 Hoffenheim, then in the third tier, between 2000 and 2005 were followed by 14 years in backroom staff roles.

In 2006 he was hired by the German Football Association to join Joachim Löw’s coaching staff, and it was during this time that he was part of one of the country’s most successful eras, reaching the final of Euro 2008, the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, before finally winning the World Cup in 2014.

He returned to top level management in 2019 – and in a high profile role – when he was appointed interim head coach of Bayern Munich in November 2019 following the departure of Croatian coach Niko Kovac. Buoying a talented squad led by the likes of Robert Lewandowski, with whom he now reunites in Catalonia, he turned around a difficult season, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, by winning a historic treble – the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Champions League – which would go on to become a sextet the following season. One unforgettable match stands out from that European run: an 8-2 win over his now new side FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals before a 1-0 win over PSG in the final.

After Euro 2020, which was eventually played in 2021, he took over as Germany coach, replacing former boss Löw. He coached the side at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but a disappointing showing which saw them eliminated in the group stages and further mixed results saw him leave the post in September 2023.

Now Flick is set for an all-new challenge in LALIGA, his first outside of German football. But he’ll be reunited with some familiar faces: Lewandowski, his goalscorer at Bayern, and the likes of Marc-André ter Stegen and İlkay Gündoğan from the national team. All eyes are now on him as he looks to steer FC Barcelona back towards title contention.

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