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FC Barcelona’s stars want Patrick Kluivert to replace Quique Setien as manager, according to a report.
On Sunday morning, Mundo Deportivo leads with a front page splash on its newspaper where within more details are provided of the sensational development.
A club legend with 122 goals in 256 games donning the Blaugrana shirt as a player, in addition to scoring Ajax’s winning goal in the 1995 Champions League final, Kluivert has the pedigree that is respected by the locker rooms heavyweights referred to by local press as the “sacred cows”.
Wasting no time to appoint him, Cristina Cubero understands that there is a possibility “that Kluivert is Barça coach in the next Champions League [match]”, and this is news that “has gone down well” among the likes of Lionel Messi.
“Kluivert is a true standard-bearer for the Barça model, capable of stirring up the dressing room and giving it precisely what Messi was demanding: intensity and character,” Cubero writes further – a reference to the Argentine’s scathing attack on the team following the 1-2 loss to Osasuna that handed Real Madrid the La Liga title.
“Kluivert is the leader on the bench that Barça lacks,” she continues, “the coach who has been a high-level player wearing the Barça shirt and who knows how to face every situation.”
While Kluivert’s relationship with the aforementioned sacred cows is “excellent”, his role overseeing the La Masia academy as a director means that he is “perfectly” acquainted with “the young talents that the club has been incorporating into the first team” and who are seen as its future.
He has been very protective of 17-year-old whizzkid Ansu Fati, who bears a story “very similar” to his own coming up through the ranks in Amsterdam at Ajax. Furthermore, it is also believed he would be capable of developing Frenkie de Jong and extracting the form that is expected of the budding midfielder.
A polyglot who speaks Dutch, German, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, Kluivert is also admired by Pep Guardiola, who once described him as his favorite ‘9’.
After two stints at FC Twente and with the Curacão national team in South America, he is now ready to make the leap to the big time.
Now, though, the final decision rests with president Josep Bartomeu, who could dismiss Setien as early as the turn of the week or even this evening after Barça have played their last domestic game of the season against Alaves.