Primera Division

Henrik Larsson joins Koeman at Barcelona

The legendary Swede previously played for the Blaugrana and helped them lift the 2006 Champions League title

10:27am on Friday 21st August 2020
Martin Macdonald

Former Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson has returned to the club as an assistant to new head coach Ronald Koeman.

Following last weekend's heavy loss against Bayern in the quarter-final of the Champions League, the club reacted quickly by sacking Quique Setien and replacing him with Koeman, who was part of the side that led Barca to their first European Cup in 1992.

The Dutchman has now selected part of his coaching team which includes former Helsingborgs coach, Larsson, and former Hoffenheim head coach Alfred Schreuder, who, perhaps vitally, worked with Frenkie de Jong at Ajax two years ago.

Larsson became a cult hero at the Camp Nou after arriving from Celtic in the summer of 2004. Although his stay in Catalunya was disrupted by injury, including a serious cruciate ligament injury, he played a pivotal role in the club claiming their second ever Champions League title in 2006, coming off the bench to set up both the equaliser for Samuel Eto'o and the winner for Juliano Belletti.

A statement released on the Barca official site confirmed the appointments.

"FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Alfred Schreuder and Henrik Larsson for their incorporation into into the coaching staff, headed by new coach Ronald Koeman. Both have signed on contracts through to June 30, 2022," the statement read.

"Koeman and Larsson coincided during their playing careers at Feyenoord between 1995 and 1997. Now, 23 years on, they reunite at the Camp Nou, where both achieved success on the pitch.

"Larsson has been coaching in his native Sweden, in the dugout at Falkenberg and Helsingborg."

Larsson does have coaching and managerial experience in the past but another factor in his appointment is believed to be his relationship with Lionel Messi, whom he helped mentor when the Argentine broke through into the Barcelona first-team.

Speculation is mounting that Messi could leave the club following the humiliating defeat by Bayern.

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