Barcelona president Piqué, with Xavi as manager and Iniesta as assistant?

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: Andres Iniesta speaks during the presentation of Ariel Power Pods on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jordi Vidal/WireImage)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: Andres Iniesta speaks during the presentation of Ariel Power Pods on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jordi Vidal/WireImage) /

Former Barcelona players have returned in the past, but not to this extent

Barcelona have a tendency to bring back former players to the club in various capacities. This trend started with the appointment of Carles Rexach as interim manager, following which the legendary Johan Cruyff took over and changed the course of the club’s history.

Barça’s most successful manager, Pep Guardiola, was a pupil of Johan Cruyff and made 367 appearances in 11 years at the Camp Nou, working under the likes of Cruyff and Louis van Gaal. Luis Enrique, too, captained the side under the likes of Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.

The club management has also constituted several former players, including Andoni Zubizarreta, Txiki Begiristain, Carles Puyol and Robert Fernández. Barça B too, has had several former players as managers, most notably, Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Gerard López and Eusebio Sacristán.

The current setup at Barcelona also consists of former players, including Ernesto Valverde as manager and Éric Abidal as technical secretary. But it has been rare that some of the club’s greatest-ever players have been in different positions in the club at the same time.

But may turn out to be the case in the next decade. Xavi has already started taking coaching courses under UEFA, while he has already laid out plans to retire in 2020. Andrés Iniesta’s post-European career is flourishing with Vissel Kobe in Japan.

But Spain’s World Cup hero recently expressed his interest in returning to his boyhood club in a coaching capacity. He is yet to consider the possibility of hanging up his boots, but he could do so in the near future.

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But most interestingly, Gerard Piqué has decided to retire in 2020, in order to campaign for a year before the next presidential elections. Josep Maria Bartomeu’s term ends in 2021, and he is very happy to step aside in order for the 32-year old centre-back to take over.

Piqué has slightly different aspirations to most ageing stars. But his plans for the club are highly enticing. He plans to bring back Xavi and Iniesta in a coaching role, and Carles Puyol as technical secretary, a role in which he has experience, working under Andoni Zubizarreta.

Xavi is expected to have more coaching experience by the time Piqué takes over, and he would be a candidate for the position of head coach, with his apprentice on the pitch, Andrés Iniesta, becoming his apprentice in the dugout.

This would unite three of the greatest players in Barcelona’s history, and certainly, in the club’s recent history. Former Barça shot-stopper Víctor Valdés is also gaining some coaching experience as the youth coach of minnows ED Moratalaz, and he could return as Barça B manager, perhaps.

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This re-uniting of players from the most successful period in club history would be a very interesting prospect for Barcelona, and could certainly help in guiding the team into the next generation of modern football.