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10.12.2008 13:37

Juande’s year at Barça

Jordi Clos

The new Real Madrid coach, Juande Ramos, was in charge of the Barça B team for the 1996/97 season and during his year at the helm he worked with many players that went on to play at the highest level.

Barça’s next opponents will see a former coach of theirs take charge of his first league game for Los Merengues. Ramos is well known by fans at Camp Nou after spending a season with Barça’s second string in what proved to be a difficult spell as the team ended up being relegated. But that did not do many players much harm as a number of those went on to play in la Primera.

Difficult transition

Ramos arrived at the club from Logroñes, who he took to the first division. With Toño De la Druc and José Antonio Pozanco as his assistants, the trainer from Ciudad Real went from a very experienced side to a very youthful one that included Gerard López as their top scorer.

From the start, Ramos found had problems maintaining a settled side with Quique Álvarez, Mingo and Vucevic all picking up injuries that meant that players had to be promoted from within to help the squad and that weakened the side at a crucial moment.

JUANDE_96-97_xBARxA_Bx002.jpgDuring the 1996/97 campaign no less than 35 players represented Barça B including: Arnau, Roca, Pecelj, Porto, Marc Bernaus, Gerard, Rufete, Vacas, Ismael, Drulic, Xavi Moro, Quique Álvarez, Setvalls, Sergio Magano, Pep Pagès, Pablo Sanz, Jordi Martínez, Vucevic, Juanjo, Patrick Suffo, Molist, D’Marcellus, De la Sagra, Mingo, Jon Bakero, Juan Carlos Moreno, Rubén, Coromina, Felip, Manu, Genís, Sergio García, Ávila, Jofre and Puyol.

Puyol’s debut

Many of those names are familiar to fans of the Spanish top flight. Among them is current Barça captain Carles Puyol, who Ramos gave his B team debut to. He only played in one match, a 2-2 draw against Villarreal in week 33 of the season and he scored a goal. But the year finished with the team being relegated with a record of seven wins, 13 draws and 18 defeats, while they scored 40 goals and let in 63.

At the end of the season Josep María Gonzalvo took over the reins and Ramos moved on to take charge at Lleida.
Juande’s year at Barça
Vilanova in Lleida
Juande Ramos spent one season in charge of Unió Esportiva Lleida after his time at Barça. In the Terra Ferma he worked with Tito Vilanova, the current assistant to Pep Guardiola at Camp Nou.

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