FC Barcelona: Ranking the Top 5 Managers In the Club's History
Barcelona are one of the biggest and most successful clubs in history, and they have had some great managers throughout their history. Unfortunately, a Top Five compilation makes it difficult to include them all.
Either way, these are, in my opinion, the best five managers in Barcelona history.
5. Helenio Herrera
Between 1959 and 1961, Helenio Herrera won two league titles, one Spanish Cup and one Inter Cities Fairs Cup (Uefa Cup). He had an amazing 76.7 winning percent. All these achievements made him one of the most successful managers in Barcelona's history.
In 1981, he came back for only 25 matches, but he still won another trophy: the Spanish Super Cup. He's certainly one of the best manager in the club's history.
4. Frank Rijkaard
When Rijkaard arrived at Barcelona in 2003, the club was going through one of the darkest period in their history. Barcelona had been trophyless since 1999 and in the 2002-2003, after Rivaldo left the club, things had hit a new low: Barcelona finished sixth (!) in La Liga.
Frank Rijkaard was a relatively inexperienced coach but Barcelona appointed him as the man to lead the club back to the glory days. In the beginning, it looked like a failed bet. Barcelona were even worse than the previous season and the Dutchman was about to get sacked. However, in the second part of the season, Barcelona, led by Ronaldinho, had an impressive series of good results (including a win at the Bernabeu) and managed to finish in second place in La Liga, only behind Valencia.
In the following season, with Ronaldinho again at his best, Rijkaard led Barcelona to the league title that had eluded the club for so long. Finally, in 2005-2006, he won the league again and added the Champions League trophy.
His final two seasons weren't as successful and he was eventually sacked. Still, he and Ronaldinho were responsible for Barcelona's resurgence, which makes Rijkaard one of the most important managers in Barcelona's history.
Finally, he was also the man who launched the career of one of the most talented players ever to grace the football pitch: Lionel Messi.
3. Ferdinand Daučík
Daucik managed Barcelona during one of the club's most successful periods. During his four seasons in charge the club won two consecutive La Liga plus Copa del Rey doubles in 1952 and 1953. In 1952, Barcelona won five different trophies including La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Copa Latino and the Copa Eva Duarte. His contract ended in 1954 and after clashing with some players he left the club.
His success is undeniable and he is associated to one of the club's best periods ever.
2. Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola is a Barcelona legend, both as a player and as a manager.
He took charge of an unmotivated team in the summer of 2008 and did the unthinkable: in his first year as a manager, he led the club to an unprecedented sextuple with the most beautiful football seen in a long time!
In his second season, Barcelona won the league again with a record-breaking 99 points, and reached the semifinals of the Champions League (narrowly missing the final). In two seasons, Pep did more than most managers do in their entire careers.
Now in his third season as a Barcelona manager, he's in a good position both in La Liga and the Champions League (second place in La Liga, one point behind the leaders, and almost qualified for the knockouts of the Champions League).
Some more league titles (even if not this season) and at least one more Champions League will make Guardiola the best manager in Barcelona's history, not to mention one of the best ever, anywhere.
1. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is undoubtedly the best Barcelona manager ever, and arguably the biggest legend of the club.
Johan Cruyff is Barcelona. If Barcelona are what they are today, they owe it to the Dutchman. If not for the football philosophy Cruyff introduced at Barcelona (tiki-taka), there'd be no Xavi, Iniesta, Lionel Messi, etc., and it's widely accepted that there's a Barcelona before and after Johan Cruyff.
Cruyff was Barcelona's most successful manager ever and also the longest serving one (1988-1996). He led Barcelona to four Spanish leagues in a row (1991-1994) and to the first Champions League trophy in the club's history (1992). Overall, he won 11 trophies during his tenure and changed the face of the club forever.
However, in his final two seasons, he failed to win any trophies, and fell out with chairman Josep Lluís Núñez; this resulted in his departure from the club, and he vowed never to coach again.
Still, he's one of the best managers in the history of the game and his influence at Barcelona will live on for a very long time.