Josep-Maria Bartomeu officially began his new six-year mandate as Barça president today with the announcement that Barça’s new sporting director is Roberto Fernández Bonillo. It has also been confirmed that another ex-player, Gerard Lopez, will be the new coach of Barça B.
Older fans will remember Roberto who played 144 games in midfield for Barça between 1986 and 1990, scoring 35 goals and playing an important part in the Copa del Rey wins of 1988 and 1990 and the Cup Winners Cup triumph of 1989. He was always a decent enough player but his managerial record is far from impressive with just four short spells in the lower divisions with Valencia B, Cordoba, Orihuela and Alzira between 2004 and 2009. Despite this, his good relationship with Luis Enrique appears to have swung the decision in his favour. Roberto’s appointment seems like a risky decision at first glance and there will no doubt be plenty of fans who will be wondering why Bartomeu couldn’t have announced such an important decision before Saturday’s election.
I can’t say I’m jumping for joy over Gerard either. As a player he did a “Fabregas”. Having been a big prospect of La Masia, he left to get first team football at Valencia only to be resigned for a huge fee (€22 million) before failing to reach his potential on his return to Camp Nou. He coincided with the awful Gaspart years and only managed four goals and 91 appearances in five seasons. His managerial experience is limited to just two games in charge of the Catalan selection.
I very much hope that I am wrong but I can’t help feeling we were better off with Zubizarreta and Eusebio!