Spanish-learned Flick makes counter-offer, this time

Former Bayern Munich and Germany national team coach Hans-Joachim Flick is eyeing the FC Barcelona head coaching job. 

“Flick has made a counter-offer to Barcelona through his agent, Pini Zahavi,” Spain’s Mundo Deportivo reported on June 26 (ET). 

Flick is a German soccer player and manager. After retiring as a player, he took over as manager of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in 2000. He led Hoffenheim to the championship in the 2000-01 season and promotion to the third division, the Legionalliga. After his dismissal from Hoffenheim, he was appointed head coach of Red Bull Salzburg.

He has been the head coach of the German national soccer team since 2006. He was the head coach of the German national team until 2014, stepping down after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He served as director of the German Football Association until January 2017, during which time Germany reached at least the quarterfinals of major tournaments.

In July 2019, he returned to his parent club as head coach of Munich. Four months later, in November 2019, he took over as acting coach after Niko Kovac resigned due to poor results. Flick was reappointed as the club’s full-time coach after the team’s progress under him, and the club won the treble that season.

They started the 2020-21 season by winning the UEFA Super Cup, then defeated Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup to lift five trophies in 40 games. Flick was named UEFA Coach of the Year, and the club also won the FIFA Club World Cup, becoming the second club to win six trophies behind Pep Guardiola.

But at the end of the season, tired of the boardroom infighting, Flick resigned and handed the reins to Julian Nagelsmann. Munich lifted the Bundesliga title in his final season, and in May 2021, Nagelsmann was appointed to the German national team.

It’s been a great start for the German national team. With back-to-back wins, the team qualified for the World Cup with two games left in European qualifying. However, they struggled at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After a shaky start, including a loss to Japan in the first round of group play, they finished third in their group with one win, one draw, and one loss, failing to advance to the round of 16.

The most problematic match was a friendly against the Japanese national team. In September of last year, after a three-game losing streak, Germany played Japan in an exhibition match on home soil and lost 1-4. It was Germany’s first three-point loss to an Asian country. Europe as a whole had never lost a three-point game to an Asian country.

Flick was eventually sacked after taking responsibility for the loss to Japan. In the 123-year history of the German national team, including the West German national team, no coach has ever been fired. Flick has the honor of being the first German national team coach to be fired.

Luckily, one team has been keeping a close eye on Flick. Barcelona. On June 28th, Xavi Hernandez announced his resignation following a 3-5 loss to Villarreal. “As of June 30, I will no longer be the coach of Barcelona,” he said.

Xavi is a Barcelona legend. He joined the Barcelona youth club in 1991 and played until 1997. He played as a midfielder for Barcelona from 1998 to 2015. Xavi won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles during his time at Barcelona.

This season, Xavi has faced a crisis at Barcelona. They lost 1-4 in the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid and 2-4 in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals against Athletic Bilbao. There were local rumors of Xavi’s departure, and after the loss to Villarreal, he announced his intention to resign.

Following the announcement of his resignation, attention turned to Barcelona’s next manager. Thiago Motta, Rafa Marquez, and Zio van Bronckhorst were among the names that surfaced. Flick has also been on the shortlist. Recently, Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel also counter-offered himself to Barcelona. 

The increased competition seems to have made Flick’s mind up. ”Flick has recently started learning Spanish,” German media outlet Bild reported on Friday. There are even reports that he made a counter-offer to Barcelona himself. 

Nevertheless, it seems that Barcelona will take their time in deciding on their next coach. ”Barcelona and president Juan Laporte like Flick, but they don’t want to rush into a decision,” Mundo Deportivo said.


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