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10.05.2008 11:50

Frank praised by previous managers

David Carabén

With Frank Rijkaard’s last game in the Camp Nou approaching, www.fcbarcelona.cat got in touch with some of the ex-managers of FC Barcelona to get their opinion on his time here. The response was unanimous.

Here we offer you, in chronological order of their time at Barça, the assessments of ex-Barça managers such as Laureano Ruiz, Lucien Muller, Terry Venables, Johan Cruyff, Carles Rexach, Llorenç Serra Ferrer and Radomir Antic:


LAUREANO_RUIZ.jpg”I have great esteem for Frank Rijkaard as a manager. There are managers that are always the same. Rijkaard has left his mark on Barça with a return to attacking football with wingers, which is how Barça has always played, not counting the parenthesis during the return of Cruyff to the club. Everyone knows that football is all about results. But Manchester United has qualified for the Champions league final in a shameful way. They came to the Camp Nou as if they were Alcoyano. Such a big club, with these players, with this history can’t play this way. And, as no-one in Spain has said it, I will: ‘La Gazzeta dello Sport', ‘L'équipe' and ‘A bola' coincided in criticising the refereeing and the fact that he didn’t blow a penalty for the tackle on Messi. The tackle was on the line of the box and this is a penalty. In one of these prestigious European newspapers they even said that Manchester United has always been cosy with the referees. Here, inexplicably, no one said anything about this. But the fact is that, just as Frank Rijkaard said, success and failure depend on the details. This was all that was missing for the press today to be full of praise for Frank Rijkaard, because, with a weakened team he had reached the semi-finals of the Champions League”.


”With managers it’s always a question of results. I thought he was a great manager. Always reserved with the press. But that doesn’t mean anything. He has done a good job. With him, Barça has played fabulous football. In the last two years something has happened which only those on the inside know about. Obviously we need to know why it happened. But the truth is not always brought to light. Sometimes you don’t know why you were winning or why you’re losing now”


VENABLES.jpg”He’s done a fantastic job. Only for the time he’s been there, five seasons, he deserves great respect. We should bear in mind that Barça is a club with high expectations and if you don’t fulfil these it has its consequences. But, with him, the team has played magnificent football. For me he has demonstrated that he is a remarkable manager, who will have no problem whatsoever working and being happy again anywhere”.

JOHAN CRUYFF (1988-96)

CRUYFF.jpg”In order to assess Frank Rijkaard you only have to look at how Barça was five years ago and how it is now. We don’t have to look just at the football, but also at the prestige Barça has in the world of football. If you look at the mentality with which Rijkaard took part in this Board’s project we can only talk about a job well done. He won titles, but, above all, he gained prestige”.

“Barça’s alliance with UNICEF is a gesture to the entire world. In order to do this you also need a manager who doesn’t just think of himself and is always conscious of the institution he forms part of. Rijkaard, with his way of working, the calm with which he has acted, his way of talking and his humility go hand in hand with this gesture to the world”.
“If we talk now of football, everyone will agree that a couple of years ago Rijkaard’s Barça played the best football in Europe if not the world. It is clear that to reach the very top is difficult. To stay there is even more so, because every element has to work to perfection”.

CARLES REXACH (1988, 1991, 1996 y 2001-02)

”He has been a manager with a ‘Barça profile’, who enjoys playing good football and who has the temperament to train a big team. That’s to say, he is not too affected by the ups and downs of the team. What could have been missing was some external support on occasions. He has also shown that he is a gentleman and has always defended the players and this is very important”.


”Frank Rijkaard has, personally and professionally, made a good impression on me. He was up to the requirements of a club like Barça. He has imposed a style of risk, creativity and talent and has always played to win. I also think he has shown himself to be honest. I get the impression that, on many occasions, he has taken responsibility for circumstances of the team, that weren’t down to him. This also has to do with his integrity as a person. As a Club member I want to congratulate him for everything he has brought to the club”.
Frank praised by previous managers
His predecessor

”He’s done a great job. He has shown a very good attitude. He brought tranquillity to a club as difficult as Barça. He has defended a club as big as Barça with tact. With regard to football, he made the team play in the Barça style. If I have to choose, it would be the final in Paris, his good taste in football and the fact that he never got involved in any controversies, even though he had opportunities. We only have to remember Mourinho. The truth is that he has always shown he is a perfect gentleman.

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