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Recent managerial appointments means 25 per cent of the bosses are former Barcelona players. Here, talkSPORT looks at them beginning with new Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer. After a highly successful spell with Ajax the centre-back moved to Barcelona in January 1999 alongside his twin brother Ronald. In doing so they were reunited at the Camp Nou with their former manager in Amsterdam, Louis van Gaal, and went on to win LaLiga that season. However, Van Gaal was sacked in 2000 and Frank tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone a year later. He was suspended for 12 months before UEFA cut the ban short after finding contaminated food supplements were the likely cause for the positive test. He left Barcelona for Galatasaray in 2003.

Crystal Palace’s appointment of Frank de Boer as their new manager and Mauricio Pellegrino getting the Southampton job means 25 per cent of the Premier League’s bosses are former Barcelona players.

Staggeringly this means there are now more ex-Barca men in the top jobs than there are Englishmen.

Before Pellegrino arrived there were three ex-Barcelona players managing – Everton’s Ronald Koeman, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Stoke City’s Mark Hughes.

Now two more names have recently been added to take the list to five – beyond the current number of four English bosses in the Premier League.

The current managers from these shores are Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Swansea’s Paul Clement, Leicester’s Craig Shakespeare and Sean Dyche at Burnley.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton was born in London but represented the Republic of Ireland at international level while Hughes and Tony Pulis (both Welsh) add an extra British flavour to the league.

Undoubtedly the situation raises a number of questions about English coaches getting a chance at the highest level.

Or, perhaps, this means the schooling and education gained at Barcelona is of a more impressive standard – even if you have only been at the club for a limited amount of time.

While these questions will linger for plenty of time to come, for now you can scroll through the gallery above to see how the ex-Barca players fared during their time at the Catalan club.


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