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Alexanko: Barcelona legend appointed Mamelodi Sundowns academy director

9:15 PM IST 09/09/19
Pitso Mosimane, Jose Ramon Alexanko & Patrice Motsepe, Sundowns, September 2019
Masandawana have brought in the veteran Spanish coach, who worked as a youth system coordinator at the Catalan giants

Former Barcelona assistant coach Jose Ramon Alexanko has been appointed Mamelodi Sundowns director of academy and scouting.

The retired defender is an experienced tactician having coached Romanian clubs FC Universitatea Craiova and Naţional Bucureşti before he worked as an assistant coach at the Spanish giants Barcelona.

Alexanko also served as the director of football at Barcelona's La Liga rivals Valencia CF.

Reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Sundowns have since announced Alexanko has joined the club on their official website.

"Mamelodi Sundowns can confirm the appointment of José Ramón Alexanko as the club’s new director of academy and scouting," a statement from the club read.

"The 63-year-old Spaniard is highly respected and comes with a glowing track record having played for Athletic Bilbao and made over 250 appearances for Barcelona as a centre half during his days as a footballer.

"Alexanko then went on to become a coach and there his passion for working with the youth was evident – first taking up a job as the Spain U/21 coach and later the senior men’s national team for a period of four years.

"He did also get a chance to be in the dugout of a club in the Spanish La Liga, and it was as an assistant coach to his beloved Barcelona under the guidance of his former teammate in his last season at the club, Carles Rexach.

"It was in 2005 that Alexanko was named Barcelona’s youth system coordinator. He has also served as director of football at Valencia.

"Alexanko was welcomed by Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane as well as club president Patrice Motsepe at the club’s headquarters in Chloorkop on Monday as he starts a new chapter with South Africa’s record league title holders." 

Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane is looking forward to working with Alexanko, who enjoyed a lot of success as a Barcelona player in the 1980s and '90s.

“He has my full support and we are all excited to work together in order to elevate the club," Mosimane said.

Alexanko is expected to work with Sundowns academy coaches David Notoane and Surprise Moriri.