The phrase “With great power comes great responsibility” is suitable for every single person who has managed FC Barcelona. The club’s immense wealth means managers have the luxury of fielding world-class players. But the Camp Nou crowd demands a high standard, and anything short of the expected success will result in the manager getting sacked. In this article, we will look at the five most successful Barcelona managers.
Note:- Trophies won by managers in regional competitions have not been considered.
#5 Frank Rijkaard – 5 trophies
A renowned center-back, Rijkaard seamlessly transitioned into a managerial role at FC Barcelona. Before his arrival in 2003, Barcelona had not won a trophy in four seasons and had finished sixth in the 2002/03 La Liga. In Rijkaard’s first season in charge, Barcelona were runners-up in the league, but their trophy-less streak continued.
In 2004/05, Barcelona’s horrific streak ended as they won La Liga despite competing against a Real Madrid team full of legends. The next season, they won the Champions League and retained La Liga. However, the final two years of the Rijkaard era was tumultuous and did not have a happy ending. But nobody can deny that it was Rijkaard who brought the trophies and excitement back to Camp Nou.
#4 Ferdinand Daucik – 8 trophies
Daucik was appointed as the manager of FC Barcelona in 1950, but his first season was a disappointment. However, things changed quickly and Barcelona ended up winning consecutive domestic doubles in 1952 and 1953. In 1954, Barcelona won the Latin Cup, but Daucik left the club due to differences with several players.
#3 Luis Enrique – 9 trophies
When Luis Enrique took over in the summer of 2014, Barcelona was in dire need of a rebuild. 2013/14 was a hugely underwhelming season and fans demanded a fresh approach to the game. The start of Enrique’s reign was forgettable, but Barcelona staged a spectacular comeback in the second half of the 2014/15 season.
The trio of Messi, Suarez, Neymar bullied opponents into submission and Barcelona won the continental treble. In 2015/16, Barcelona won the domestic double, but were eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. A similar defeat followed in the 2017 Champions League, and Enrique left the club after his contract expired. Enrique’s reign ended with Neymar joining PSG and things will never be the same at FC Barcelona.
#2 Johan Cruyff – 11 trophies
Cruyff’s impact on football goes far beyond trophies, but he is one of the most successful Barcelona managers of all time. In 1988, Cruyff left Ajax to become the coach of FC Barcelona and revolutionized football in his eight seasons in Catalonia. He won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989 and the Copa del Rey in 1990.
Four consecutive league titles followed, but his biggest achievement is arguably the European Cup victory in 1992. He left the club in 1996 after falling out with chairman Josep Nunez. But his legacy will be forever entrenched in Barcelona’s folklore.
#1 Pep Guardiola – 15 trophies
Unsurprisingly, Guardiola tops the list of most successful Barcelona managers. Guardiola’s Barcelona won trophies with such style and ruthlessness, that they are often termed as the greatest side in the history of football. Now it is ironical that many in the Barcelona board believed in 2008 that Mourinho would be a better fit than Guardiola due to his reputation as a serial winner.
In Guardiola’s very first season, Barcelona won the continental treble. But the 2010/11 side is arguably the better one, despite failing to win the Copa del Rey.