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14.08.2008 14:30

Record debut in the Camp Nou

Roger Bogunyà

Josep Guardiola appeared for the first time as manager against Wisla Krakow in the Camp Nou. In Barça’s recent history, no trainer had achieved such a good result on his official debut in the Barcelona stadium.

It was a dangerous meeting – the preliminary round of the Champions League-, but Josep Guardiola got through his official debut with flying colours in the Camp Nou against Wisla Krakow (4-0), a feat which not all of the recent Barça managers can boast of.

Van Gaal debuted with a 3-0 victory

15-12-02_Van_Gaal_09.jpgThe start of Van Gaal’s second term at the head of FC Barcelona came close to the heavy defeat of Wisla. The Dutch manager debuted on the 14th of August 2002 against Legia Warsaw, another Polish team, and won 3-0, which helped them through to the league stage of the Champion’s League.

Van Gaal’s first debut in the Camp Nou, on the 13th of August 1997 against Skonto de Riga in another preliminary round of the Champion’s League, which also ended in victory, but only by 3-2.

Serra Ferrer, the next debut with a victory

But there have been four managers since Van Gaal: Serra Ferrer, Rexach, Antic and Rijkaard. The first is the only one of the four who can say that he debuted in the Camp Nou with a victory. His team beat Malaga 2-1 in the first league game on September 9th 2000.

The last three with draws

fcbmadrid07084.jpgWhen Serra Ferrer was dismissed it was Carles Rexach who took charge of the team against Celta de Vigo on the 29th of April 2001 and achieved a 1-1 draw. His successor, Radomir Antic had the same luck when, on the 9th of February 2003 he only managed a draw with Athletic Club in the Camp Nou (2-2).

Frank Rijkaard, the last manager before the arrival of Josep Guardiola, also managed a draw on his official debut in Barcelona. It was against Seville, in a 1-1 draw that began at five past midnight on the 3rd of September 2003.
Record debut in the Camp Nou
Aragonés, the last defeat in a debut
Although none of the debuts of the last few managers was as convincing as Josep Guardiola’s, none of them were defeated on their debut day. We have to go further back, to the 3rd of October 1987, to find a defeat of a manager making his debut on the bench of the Camp Nou. It was Luis Aragonés, against Atletico de Madrid (1-2), who suffered this difficult situation on his official debut on Barcelona’s pitch.

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