Deco Takes the Helm as Barcelona’s Sporting Director
In a significant shake-up within the management of Barcelona, Deco has been officially appointed as the new full-time sporting director, while Mateu Alemany departs the club. The decision marks a pivotal moment for the LaLiga giants, as they aim to maintain their domestic success and pursue victory in the Champions League.
Deco, a former first-team midfielder who previously played for Porto and Chelsea, is no stranger to the club. Having joined Barcelona in 2004 and contributing to their victories, the 45-year-old has returned to the fold after 15 years to take on a key role in shaping the club’s future.
Barcelona acknowledged Deco’s temporary performance of the sporting director’s responsibilities and, on Wednesday, solidified his role with a three-year contract. The club’s statement highlighted that Deco will define the sporting philosophy, collaborate with the coach, and oversee the football section, thereby becoming the sole authority on the team’s sporting direction.
During his playing days, Deco achieved remarkable successes, including winning the Champions League and two LaLiga titles between 2004 and 2008. His influence extends beyond the field, as he played a crucial role in securing the £52 million transfer of Raphinha from Leeds United to Barcelona last summer.
This change in management follows the departure of Jordi Cruyff, who left his consultancy position at the end of the previous season. Mateu Alemany, who was instrumental in steering the club through challenging financial times, will also exit after the upcoming summer transfer window, with Deco and Alemany collaborating until that point.
Alemany, aged 60, was sought after by Aston Villa during the summer but ultimately chose to stay at Barcelona, where he has been since 2021. His tenure has seen him oversee crucial transfers that laid the groundwork for the club’s 2023 domestic title.
As Deco takes on his new role, he brings a wealth of experience to the position. He played 161 games for Barcelona, contributing 20 goals and 45 assists during his time as one of the world’s premier midfielders. Now, he returns to the club with the responsibility of shaping its future trajectory.
This shift in leadership comes at a crucial time for Barcelona, as they aim to retain their LaLiga title and strive for glory in the Champions League. With Deco at the helm, the team is poised for a new era under his strategic guidance.