6 candidates who can replace Luis Enrique at Barcelona

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6. Juan Carlos Unzue

The last person on the list may be surprising to many, but Juan Carlos Unzue has been the right hand man of Luis Enrique in this incredibly successful two seasons.

He is the unsung hero for the Blaugrana, especially by improving the set piece plays where the club was notoriously bad at. He has been in charge of working with the players on strategic plays and can be seen barking orders from the sidelines every match.

The Pamplona native uses an iPad to map out a number of routines from set pieces. Ivan Rakitic’s goal against Atletico Madrid, Luis Suarez’s late strike against Celtic, and  Gerard Pique’s finish against Borussia Monchengladbach are all considered as key examples of Unzue’s work.

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As a player, Unzue also shared the pitch in Camp Nou with four other candidates from this list in 1989-90 season. After retiring, he returned to Barcelona and joined Frank Rijkaard’s coaching staff in 2005 to become a goalkeeping coach. He stayed until 2010, before getting his first taste as a head coach with Numencia and then Racing Santander.

After an unsuccessful coaching spell with Racing, he joined Enrique in Celta Vigo as an assistant in 2013. He then followed Enrique to Barcelona in 2014 and has been one of the key pieces of the club since.

Spanish newspaper AS has recently reported Barcelona could promote Unzue if Enrique wishes to leave, just like they did with Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova back in 2012. Hailed as “the genius with an iPad”, Unzue would surely keep Barcelona’s identity and the transition as smooth as possible if he ends up getting the dream job.