As a way to honor Sir Bobby Robson’s 10-year death anniversary, we remember the FC Barcelona squad he coached in the ’90s.
Today marks Sir Bobby Robson’s 10-year death anniversary, the English manager had a prolific career but his one year at FC Barcelona was one of his best.
As one of the most influential managers in English football history, Sir Bobby was already a seasoned veteran when he took control of the Catalan club in 1996.
He was the manager responsible for making Luis Figo’s transfer from Sporting CP happen in 1995.
The English coach was the one who recommended the Portugal international, he was the one who honed him to become one of the best wingers at the time.
During a phone call he had with president Joa Gaspart, Sir Bobby got an offer to coach FC Barcelona in the summer of 1996.
Nobody in the Catalan club knew how important the Englishman’s arrival would be to the institution, he had the enormous task of taking over Johan Cruyff’s position at the club.
The Dutch manager was about to finish the most successful period in Barcelona’s history.
Robson wanted to make a great impression with the fans and that specific year was very important to the club as well.
Sir Bobby made two key decisions for the club that transformed it into the most competitive in the whole continent, two arrivals that changed the institution’s history that year.
Forever in our thoughts ❤️
It's ten years since the much-loved Sir Bobby Robson, who won 20 caps as a player and managed the #ThreeLions from 1982 to 1990, sadly passed away. We all miss you, Sir Bobby. pic.twitter.com/ew9oopKpdk
— England (@England) July 31, 2019
Ronaldo Nazario and Jose Mourinho’s arrival.
During his time in Portugal as the manager for Porto FC, Sir Bobby Robson met a translator who had unusual capabilities to read players and make analyses on matches like nobody else he had seen.
The Englishman quickly offered this man a job as his assistant manager at FC Barcelona, that man was Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese coach still recognizes Robson as his biggest mentor in the world of management to this day.
But Jose’s arrival wasn’t the only one that Sir Bobby made possible, there was a player who made a lasting impression on him as no other did before.
A striker names Ronaldo Nazario was coming up through PSV Eindhoven’s ranks, he was a talented player with abilities that Robson was experiencing for the first time in his career.
The man coached Gary Lineker during his time as the England manager back in the ’80s, Ronaldo was remarkably superior to this striker in every possible way.
It didn’t take long for Robson to convince Barcelona that signing the Brazilian was imperative, they paid €22 million for his transfer during the summer of 1996.
You could say that Robson’s arrival came with a huge bonus in the form of Ronaldo Nazario.
Ten years without #SirBobby Robson. He lived one extremely complicated season in FC Barcelona. Best example of this madness year and best tribute is listening Ronaldo, Guardiola and Mourinho speaking about one of the most famous Spanish comebacks. pic.twitter.com/hZuxITWy2p
— Pep Molero (@molerogascon) July 31, 2019
A record-breaking La Liga season, and an early departure.
With Ronaldo as the striker, Figo as the winger, and Mourinho as the assistant manager, Sir Bobby had all the ingredients to accomplish great things ar FC Barcelona.
Given that Johan Cruyff didn’t leave the squad in Champions League positions during his final year, the Catalan club couldn’t compete in the tournament when Robson took over as the manager.
That FC Barcelona squad is considered by everybody as one of the strongest of the whole ’90s decade, Ronaldo Nazario truly played his most prolific season when he wore the Blaugrana colors.
Robson found a gold mine with this player at the club, but he wasn’t able to convince the board to increase his wage after one year.
The Brazilian had a massive disagreement with the president over his salary, and he didn’t hesitate to leave after only one year at the club.
Sir Bobby also disliked how the board handled Ronaldo’s exit, which pushed him to become the sporting director and made Louis van Gaal take his position.
Robson remained in Barcelona for one more season and then moved back to the Netherlands to coach PSV Eindhoven.
That Barcelona squad led by the legendary English manager will remain in people’s memory for the rest of time, Robson probably reached his full potential as a coach during that 1996-97 season.
What’s your fondest memory of Sir Bobby Robson’s time at FC Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.