Patrick Kluivert Returns To Barcelona As Director

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Patrick Kluivert has been appointed director of youth football at Barcelona on a two-year contract.

The role marks a return for the former Netherlands international to the club where he spent six seasons as a player, scoring 123 goals in 259 games across all competitions.

Kluivert will be responsible for overseeing the famed La Masia academy, which produced world-renowned talents such as Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets – who have all gone on to lift various trophies with the Blaugrana.

“I am very happy to be back home and looking forward to this new era, with the challenge of keeping Barca among the top teams in the world,” Kluivert said.

“I grew up at the Ajax academy, which is very similar to La Masia, and I think I can do a lot for the development of young Barca players.”

The announcement comes just over a week after the 43-year-old was dismissed from his position as assistant manager by Cameroon.

Head coach Clarence Seedorf and assistant Kluivert had their contracts terminated after failing to guide the Indomitable Lions beyond the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations, losing 3-2 to Nigeria as they failed to defend their title.

The 43-year-old became something of a journeyman following his Barcelona departure in 2004 as he appeared for Newcastle United, Valencia, PSV and Lille all in the space of four years.

Since retiring from playing in 2008, Kluivert has been involved with various Eredivisie clubs and was part of Louis van Gaal’s coaching staff when Netherlands finished third at the 2014 World Cup.

He was briefly at the helm of the Curacao national team, the country in which his mother was born, and spent a season as director of football at Paris Saint-Germain, before joining Seedorf at Cameroon in 2018.

While in charge of the Curacao national side, Kluivert guided them to their best-ever World Cup Qualifying performance ahead of the 2018 tournament as they reached the third qualifying round before being eliminated by El Salvador.

Kluivert has previously coached at youth level, spending two months in charge of Ajax A1 from May 2016 where he took charge of a side including his son, Justin.

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