BARCELONA – Jordi Cruyff returns to Barcelona, 25 years after his tumultuous march in 1996, recovered by Joan Laporta to join the club’s sports area, in a role as sports advisor who, ESPN Deportes learned, will collaborate directly with the director of football Mateu Alemany once separated from Shenzen FC of China, with whom he had a contract as a coach until next December.
On vacation in Barcelona for two weeks, Jordi maintained in recent days contacts with Joan Laporta in which the president confirmed his desire to join the club as soon as possible, delaying his final approval due to his intention to dissociate himself from Shenzen in good terms. terms.
This same Thursday he went to the Camp Nou offices at noon and the announcement of his signing was made official after the meeting of the Board of Directors, in which the continuity of Ronald Koeman would also be confirmed, who has the support of Jordi Cruyff himself , as coach of the first team.
The president of Barça, undisguisedly devoted to the figure of Johan Cruyff and everything he represents, has especially valued Jordi both his experience abroad, away from the big lights, and the discretion he has always shown, away controversial and with an excellent football vision that he considers essential to fit into his project.
Although at first it was speculated with his entry as technical secretary or sports director, Jordi, it is understood, will access as a football advisor who will deal directly with the president of the club’s football line.
THE LONG ROAD BACK
Jordi Cruyff said goodbye to Barça on May 19, 1996, a day after his father’s dismissal as coach and in a much remembered match against Celta in which the Camp Nou fired him with honors in the middle of a divorce with the then directive of Josep Lluís Núñez. After his departure he joined Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, in which he had no continuity before pursuing a football career that ended in 2010, when he went to offices.
Son of the legendary Johan Cruyff, Jordi never wanted to use his surname for his own benefit and as a footballer he built a long career that after a period at Manchester United left his mark on clubs such as Espanyol or Alavés (with which he became runner-up of the Europa League), before beginning his career as a sports director at AEK Larnaca in Cyprus and obtaining a PhD at Maccabi in Tel Aviv, where he led to the footballing throne of Israel after a long decade of troubles.
His independent character did not cause him to stray from his father’s footballing foundations. On the contrary, Jordi established a non-negotiable ideology in Israel and recruited coaches such as Òscar García or Peter Bosz, indisputable followers of that philosophy that later, from his own bench, he showed in the first person, first in Israel and later in China, after a brief I passed through Ecuador marked by the pandemic.
“I will never close the doors of Barça because it is my home, but things have to be taken as they come. If I have to come back one day, it may be out of conviction, not because of something else,” he used to clarify whenever he was questioned about that long return to Camp Nou that never happened. The death of his father, in 2016, coincided with a rapprochement of the family to the club and although he maintained professional distances with Bartomeu, with the arrival of the electoral period his name entered the scene directly.
Initially recruited by the candidacy of Víctor Font as Sports Director, Jordi quickly distanced himself from Font and Laporta already hinted that he was counting on him, without specifying in what position exactly. After his triumph at the polls, Jordi’s return took shape, discreetly and in the shadow of other operations, until it reached its final point.