Finish of an period

The controversial former president died this week, and modern-day soccer followers have loads to thank him for

Recognised and supported world wide, recognized for his or her attacking soccer and for that includes lots of the best gamers of all time, Barcelona are undoubtedly one of many international tremendous golf equipment.

Josep Lluís Núñez was a definitive a part of making {that a} actuality.

The previous Barcelona president, who died on the age of 87 on Monday, was and can stay a divisive determine, however regardless his title will go down as a key one in creating the Barça of in the present day.

Whether or not Barcelona makes you consider Diego Maradona, Romario, Michael Laudrup, Rivaldo or the sensible thoughts of Johan Cruyff, it’s indirectly due to Núñez.

By extension, if it makes you consider Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho or Pep Guardiola, then the lineage might be traced again to the late president.

With out Núñez, the trendy day Barcelona would most likely look loads completely different

Núñez was in cost on the Camp Nou for 22 years, the longest of anybody within the membership’s historical past. For some perspective, take into account that he took the reins simply as Cruyff was departing as a participant, then relinquishing them simply as Messi was about to signal on a paper serviette to maneuver to the now iconic constructing often known as La Masia – the foundations of which had been laid early in his presidency.

From 77,000 membership members when he began to 106,000 when he left, at a neighborhood stage, Barcelona’s progress in recognition underneath him is well quantifiable. At a global stage, his affect might be seen within the prolonged checklist of superstars who selected to signal for the Blaugrana throughout his tenure: Maradona for a report charge, then European Championship winner Bernd Schuster, then Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker. Ronald Koeman, Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo – the enviable checklist rolls on and on.

Appointing former player Johan Cruyff as manager was a masterstroke

Appointing former participant Johan Cruyff as supervisor was a masterstroke

The neatest factor Núñez ever did, nonetheless, and the transfer that has no doubt had the longest-lasting impression on Barcelona in addition to the soccer world, was appointing Cruyff as supervisor in 1988. At that second the hangover from lacking out on the European Cup in 1986 plus a messy dispute with gamers over pay dominated the environment on the Camp Nou. Then their former participant was introduced again and tasked with rebuilding, 10 years after leaving.

Everyone knows how that labored out. With the backing of Núñez, Cruyff accomplished an overhaul of the Barça squad, and after a sluggish begin finally went on to win 4 leagues in a row, enjoying mesmerising attacking soccer to which there are nonetheless clear hyperlinks to today.

Núñez’s crowning jewel got here at Wembley in 1992 when Cruyff lastly guided Barcelona to their first ever European Cup because of a profitable purpose from one of many gamers the supervisor had been allowed to usher in, Ronald Koeman.

Barcelona’s 1992 European Cup winners were known as the ‘Dream Team’

Barcelona’s 1992 European Cup winners have been often known as the ‘Dream Workforce’

Núñez’s relationship with Cruyff finally broke down in dramatic, ugly style, ensuing within the coach being sacked in 1996 following a string of smears on his title, and the president’s place by no means actually recovered. The transfer created a divide that may nonetheless be felt to today amongst Barcelona supporters, between those that backed Cruyff and those that backed the president. Successors Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal couldn’t ship the identical stage of trendy glory that followers had grow to be used to, so there was to be no forgiving and forgetting.

Pressed by a generational change that finally resulted in Joan Laporta’s presidency a few years later and the entire success that adopted, Núñez lastly resigned in 2000, proclaiming that “they crucified Jesus Christ, too” in sometimes understated style. Extremely, his lowest level was but to return. In 2011 the previous development magnate was convicted of bribery, and spent a number of months in jail on the age of 83.

At the age of 83, Nunez spent time behind bars after being convicted of bribery

On the age of 83, Nunez frolicked behind bars after being convicted of bribery

As messy as issues would finally get nonetheless, that Núñez had an impression for the great of Barça isn’t up for debate. Veteran Catalan journalist Antoni Bassas described him on Monday because the “father of the trendy Barça”, underneath who “Barça ended up definitively changing into a profitable membership”.

Cruyff might have been the mastermind of that on the sidelines – the one accountable for the footballing imaginative and prescient and the main points – however with out Núñez placing him within the job within the first place there isn’t any Dream Workforce. By extension, there could be no Pep Workforce both. Trendy soccer would look very completely different with out Núñez’s rule over the Camp Nou.


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