Jonatan Giráldez has been announced as the replacement for former Barcelona manager Lluís Cortés. He has signed a contract with the Catalan giants until June 30th, 2022.
Cortés announced his departure from Barcelona last week following reports of a relationship breakdown with the players. He enjoyed a successful two-year stint at the club, achieving the domestic double of the Primera División and Copa de la Reina during his first full season with the team.
Barcelona were one of the most dominating forces in women’s football last season. They defended their Primera División title with ease, scoring an incredible 167 goals and conceding just 15 times. The side were only beaten once, falling foul to Atlético Madrid after they had already clinched the league title.
They also retained the Copa de la Reina title, and most crucially, won the Champions League for the first time ever after thrashing Chelsea 4-0 in the final. Giráldez joins the club at a time of unprecedented success and high expectations. GiveMeSport Women looks at who the new manager is and his objectives for next season.
Who is Jonatan Giráldez?
The 29-year-old Giráldez was born in Vigo, but has lived in Catalonia since he was 20. He studied sports science in Pontevedra and Barcelona, before becoming a coach and analyst for the Catalan Football Federation, working in both men and women’s football. Giráldez has also worked as a university speaker and commentator on football matches.
Although stepping into the shoes of Cortés may seem daunting, Giráldez is well versed in the ways of Barcelona. He was one of two assistants to Cortés for the past two and a half seasons.
Barcelona’s general manager of women’s football, Markel Zubizarreta, revealed Giráldez had been selected due to his ability to continue the club’s successful project.
“What was important was to continue with the sports project we have been working with for a long time,” he said. “Jonatan is one of the architects of the game model that has been implementing the team and the idea was to give continuity. He is young, he is ready, he has a lot of desire to do things for the team and the club and I am convinced that he will keep the team growing.”
What will Jonatan Giráldez’s objectives be?
As made clear by Zubizarreta, Giráldez will be expected to keep up Barcelona’s winning ways. The club were completely dominant last season, and there will be the objective to defend their Primera División, Copa de la Reina and Champions League titles.
Giráldez will also be keen to keep his star players who impressed on the European stage last season. Alexia Putellas must have caught the eye of football clubs around the world, but Barcelona will be hoping to keep her on their books.
Replacements must also be procured for departing players, particularly upfront. Top striker Jennifer Hermoso has already confirmed she is leaving the club, while forward Asisat Oshoala has been linked with a move back to the WSL.
Giráldez has confirmed his objective is to continue Barcelona’s dominance in women’s football. Upon his appointment, he said: “To get here you have to have a winning mentality to want to win every game. With these two and a half years I have gained a lot of experience, in an elite club I learn from the best. I have evolved and perfected my idea.
“We have the tools to keep winning. This is the mentality we have… we have a very nice challenge, which is to win again and that is the intention.”