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The Real Sociedad boss was not popular with everyone during his time at Barca B, but the Asturian believes he has what it takes for the top job at Camp Nou


ANALYSIS

Luis Enrique has still not renewed his contract. The Barcelona boss is not the least bit concerned, however, and had no problem talking about possible successors in the possible event that he were to leave the Catalan club at the end of the season.

There has even been scant talk of possible replacements for the Asturian coach so far, as it is well known that former players Ernesto Valverde and Ronaldo Koeman are considered as options for the Barca bench in future. On Saturday, though, Luis Enrique added another name to the list: Eusebio Sacristan.

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"Eusebio is a coach who is super prepared," he said. "I know him well because I was with him in my last year as a player." That was in 2003-04, with Frank Rijkaard in charge at the Catalan club and Sacristan part of his staff.

"Eusebio shares Barcelona's football ideas 100 per cent," he added ahead of the Catalans' trip to Real Sociedad - now coached by Sacristan - on Sunday. "He was also in Vigo (with Celta) and the youth team (at Barca)."

Sacristan was part of Rijkaard's backroom staff between 2003 and 2008, before taking over at Celta in 2009 and handing debuts to players like Hugo Mallo, Joselu and Iago Aspas before his departure in June of the following year.

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His emphasis on youth development did not go unnoticed and he was offered the Barca B job in 2011, staying until 2015 when he was ultimately dismissed after picking up just nine points from a possible 30. He was replaced by Jordi Vinyals, who was later succeeded by the current coach at Barca B, Gerard Lopez.

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A member of the Dream Team under Johan Cruyff, he performed a role similar to the one carried out these days by Sergio Busquets. Later, he played for Celta and hometown club Valladolid, where he had started his career.

"Of course he has the level to coach Barcelona," Luis Enrique said ahead of the game against Real Sociedad, the Basque side having won their last four matches in La Liga. "There are many people who are qualified for this job."

Barca have not won away to Real Sociedad in La Liga since 2007 and if Eusebio can extend that run on Sunday, he will do his chances of coaching the Blaugrana in future no harm at all.

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