Xavi Hernandez, the frontrunner! Here are candidates who can replace sacked Ronald Koeman at Barcelona

Updated: Oct 28, 2021, 08:04 PM(IST)

As Ronald Koeman has been sacked as coach of Barcelona, here are candidates who can replace him

Ronald Koeman sacked by Barcelona

Ronald Koeman has been sacked as coach of Barcelona, the club announced on Wednesday (October 28). Barca have won only two of their last seven league games under Koeman, a run that included losing to Real Madrid in Clasico at Camp Nou on October 24. 

The club statement released a statement, which read: "FC Barcelona has dismissed Ronald Koeman as coach of the first team tonight. 

"The president of the club, Joan Laporta, has informed him after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano. Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad this Thursday at the Ciudad Deportiva.

"The FC Barcelona wants to thank him for his services and wishes him good luck in his career." 

Here's a list of leading candidates to become Koeman’s successor:

(Photograph:Reuters)

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi Hernandez, who is currently in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar, has been named as the frontrunner for the job as per the local media reports. 

Xavi had turned down the chance to coach the La Liga giants Barcelona in January 2020 after Ernesto Valverde was axed. He extended his stay in charge of Al-Sadd for a further two years in May. 

The former midfield great joined the Qatari outfit as a player in 2015 after 17 trophy-laden years with Barca, becoming head coach after hanging up his boots in 2019 and leading the team to the domestic league title in April, while remaining unbeaten.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Roberto Martinez

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is another name who can be considered as a replacement for Ronald Koeman as per the local media reports.  

Martinez has been in charge of the Belgian national team since August 2016 and despite seeing them hold onto the number one FIFA ranking for three years, a much sought after trophy has eluded the former Everton and Wigan coach and his 'golden generation' Belgium players. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Marcelo Gallardo

Gallardo has been manager of River Plate for seven seasons and long been touted for a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona.

The 45-year-old Argentine has won 12 trophies in his time in charge of River and believes in a modern, eye-catching playing style based on possession football and counter-pressing.

Hiring someone without coaching experience in Europe would be a risk, however, and it could also be difficult to persuade Gallardo to leave the Buenos Aires giants mid-season.

(Photograph:Twitter)

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag has become one of the most highly rated coaches in the world for his work at Ajax, taking them to two Dutch titles and a Champions League semi-final in 2019.

The 51-year-old Dutchman would continue a long tradition of moves between Ajax and Barca, with the clubs united by their adoration of Johan Cruyff.

Ten Hag is a disciple of attractive, possession football but he is also fiercely loyal to Ajax and is not believed to be keen on leaving after signing a contract until 2023 last summer.

Also has admirers in the Premier League, reportedly including Manchester United.

(Photograph:Twitter)

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