Hansi Flick Joins Barcelona: A Look At His Managerial Career & What Barca Can Expect From Him

Hansi Flick Barcelona Coach
Hansi Flick Barcelona Coach

On Wednesday (May 29), Barcelona officially announced Hansi Flick as their new manager. The German tactician has signed a two-year contract with the Catalan outfit and will replace Xavi in the dugout next season. Below, we will take a brief look at Flick’s managerial journey and see what Barca can expect from their new head coach.

Highlights of Hansi Flick’s Managerial Career

Flick comes into the club with a big reputation. Over the years, he has managed TSG Hoffenheim, Germany’s national team, and, of course, Bayern Munich, completing his trophy cabinet along the way. Check out his career highlights below.

A Frustrating Spell At TSG Hoffenheim

After spending four years as manager of FC Bammental, Flick got the opportunity to coach one of the oldest clubs in Germany, TSG Hoffenheim. Flick enjoyed an impressive debut season at Hoffenheim, firing the team to the Oberliga Baden-Wurttemberg title at the end of the 2000-01 campaign. Over the following four seasons, Flick did all he could to take the team from Regionalliga Süd to 2. Bundesliga, but it simply did not happen. As a result, he was relieved of his responsibilities on November 19, 2005.

Between July 1 and August 31, 2006, Flick worked as an assistant of Giovanni Trapattoni and Lothar Matthaus at RB Salzburg. He also served as Salzburg sporting coordinator in that brief period.

World Champion As Germany’s Assistant Manager

Between September 2006 and August 2014, Flick worked as Germany’s assistant manager under Joachim Lowe. He helped Lowe guide Germany to the final of the UEFA Euro 2008, where they lost to Spain. A couple of years later, Germany finished third in the FIFA World Cup before finally going the distance in 2014. After stepping down from the assistant manager role, Flick worked as Germany’s sporting director until January 2017.

Treble Winner With Bayern Munich

Flick came on as Bayern Munich’s assistant manager at the start of the 2019-20 season. However, in only four months, he earned a promotion to the head coach position, as Niko Kovac was shown the exit door. Implementing a 4-2-3-1 system, Flick took Bayern Munich to a historic Treble at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. The Bavarians claimed a record-breaking 8-2 victory over Barcelona (quarter-finals) en route to the UEFA Champions League title.

Flick remained in the Bayern Munich hot seat in the 2020-21 season, guiding them to another Bundesliga title. But he could not turn Germany down when they came calling in the summer.

A Disastrous Stint As Germany’s Manager

Thanks to his impressive spell as assistant manager, everyone expected Flick to thrive in the head coach role. However, the story did not unfold that way. Flick avoided defeat in his first 10 games, but things went south soon after. Germany lost their first match under Flick on September 23, 2022, suffering a 1-0 defeat to Hungary. Then, humiliation followed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as Die Manschafft exited the tournament in the group stage for the second consecutive time.

Between June and September 2023, Germany lost three consecutive friendlies, the last of which was a 4-1 drubbing to Japan. A day after the defeat, Flick was sacked, becoming the first manager in Germany’s history to be terminated from the role.

What Can Barcelona Expect From Hansi Flick?

During his time with Bayern Munich, Flick stuck to a 4-2-3-1 system. His team pressed hard and high, focusing on blocking passing lanes and swiftly switching to counterattack. Most opposing teams tried to find their center-forward with long balls from deep, but Jerome Boateng and David Alaba used their pace to perfection to cut out the second ball. The system also relied heavily on Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman’s pace down the flank and Robert Lewandowski’s intelligence in the final third.

Barcelona have the likes of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo who can slide into Boateng and Alaba’s shoes, whereas Lamine Yamal can thrive on the right flank. If Barca can bring one of their top targets, Nico Williams, from Athletic Bilbao, they will also have plenty of pace down the left flank. Ex-Bayern ace Lewandowski should know his role by heart and could benefit from Flick’s ultra-attacking system.

On paper, appointing Flick could turn out to be a masterstroke. However, to execute the German’s strategy to perfection, each and every Barcelona player must buy into the philosophy. They will have to work twice as hard and remain focused throughout. Otherwise, it could turn out to be another Germany-esque disaster for Flick and his staff.

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