Fellow Spaniard Juan Manuel Lillo has been announced as the new head coach of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe.
Former Real Zaragoza, Real Sociedad and Almeria boss Lillo, 52, was announced by the J1 League-outfit on Monday. A deal has been agreed until the end of the 2019 season for a man whom Manchester City’s revolutionary tactician Pep Guardiola cites as an inspiration.
He replaces Takayuki Yoshida, who was removed from his duties after four consecutive defeats saw the club slip away from the AFC Champions League qualifying spots.
Iniesta has scored twice in six top-flight appearances since he called time on a 22-year association with Barca this summer.
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The Spanish giants return to the field for a meeting against PSV Eindhoven in the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday.
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3:33pm – Messi celebrates 18 years at Barcelona
On this day in 2000, Lionel Messi officially joined the club’s La Masia academy, as a 13-year-old.
Since then, he’s scored 556 goals in 642 games, adding 215 assists, and lifted 33 trophies with the club, as well as winning the Ballon d’Or five times.
Chart the captain’s journey at the club here.
2:15pm – Champions League is Coutinho’s time to shine
Barcelona return to Champions League action on Tuesday against PSV Eindhoven, keen to put last season’s disappointing quarterfinal exit behind them.
One big difference between last season’s competition and this is the availability of Philippe Coutinho, who was cup-tied after playing in the group stages for Liverpool in 2017-18.
Andy West thinks this is the Brazilian’s time to shine – read his talking points here.
12:11pm – Barca prepare for Champions League
Barcelona are turning their attention to the Champions League as a group stage encounter with PSV Eindhoven awaits on Tuesday.
Check out video of the club in training as they get ready for the game.
On this day in 2000, a 13-year-old Argentine joined Barcelona’s La Masia Academy and football was never the same.
Skip forward 18 years and Lionel Messi is considered among the all-time greats, scoring 556 goals in 642 games, while also providing 215 assists for his Blaugrana teammates.
The 31-year-old has lifted a stunning 33 trophies with the Camp Nou side, while also winning five Ballon d’Ors to show for his scintillating displays.
Moreover, Messi is Barcelona’s most successful player and top scorer – breaking numerous records in his decorated career to date.
The La Liga champions tweeted this picture of his youth team ID to mark the 18th anniversary today.