It hasn’t exactly been a festive week over at the Camp Nou. First, there is the continued matter of Barcelona currently trailing Real Madrid in the La Liga table (with the latter holding a game in hand). Then, there was humiliation in Paris as the Catalan giants were humbled 0-4 by Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain squad in a display rivalling their worst performances in European competition. Now, there’s word that Cristiano Ronaldo may make an appearance in a television drama with Angelina Jolie. If you’re one of the Barcelona faithful, you would excused for thinking that these are the end times.
To say that current Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is “on the hot seat” would be a little bit of an understatement - sort of like saying Joan of Arc was “on the hot seat.” He’s also out of a contract when the summer rolls around, so naturally there’s been a bit of noise about whether upper management might bring in another lucky soul to take the reins to lead Barcelona back to the ancient glory days of, er, last season.
According to reports in the Mirror, there is indeed a super secret shortlist of candidates for the job, and current Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has made the cut. Barcelona are reportedly fans of Klopp’s work during his time with Borussia Dortmund, but who isn’t really? Perhaps there’s also some thought that Klopp might reciprocate those feelings, given that the Liverpool manager made a much ballyhooed trip to Spain in order to watch Barcelona play Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Never say never in football (unless we’re talking about Liverpool signing someone from the Ukrainian league), but Klopp has after all signed a long term contract extension very recently. More significantly, the man himself has made clear that he’s only interested in the right projects, and however ill-defined that category might be, there’s little suspicion that the Barcelona job is one of those.
Sure, there’s a tremendous amount of history associated with the club, as well as enormous resources and a rabid fanbase. But it’s also a job that comes with no small amount of office politics and expectations that make Liverpool’s seem modest. In short, for most managers, it’s the proverbial poisoned chalice. Liverpool supporters can most likely rest easy, at least for now. Besides, former Barcelona stalwart Ronald Koeman is rumored to be on the same list, and who wouldn’t want him?