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Jordi Cruyff to leave as Barcelona sporting director at end of season

Barcelona sporting director Jordi Cruyff will leave the team when his contract expires at the end of June, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Cruyff’s decision comes two weeks after director of football Mateu Alemany announced that he would depart Barca when the season concludes, with sources telling ESPN he has accepted a similar role at Aston Villa.

Sources add that former Barca and Portugal midfielder Deco is set to return to Spotify Camp Nou in an executive role as the Catalan club’s recruitment team undergoes a reshuffle in the coming months.

“Cruyff will not be renewing his contract as sporting director at the end of the current season due to his wish to embark on new professional endeavours,” Barca said in a statement.

“He announced his decision this Tuesday to president Joan Laporta at an emotional meeting in which he explained that after two years in his position, he is leaving to face new challenges.”

The Cruyff family is synonymous with Barcelona.

Jordi’s father, Johan, played for and managed the club and is widely credited for embedding the attacking style of football they are associated with.

Cruyff, meanwhile, played for the club as a youngster, progressing into the first team before leaving for Manchester United in 1996.

He also played for Celta Vigo, Alaves, Espanyol, Metalurh Donetsk and Valletta before holding a varied range of roles off the pitch.

He worked as either a coach or a sporting director at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Ecuador and Shenzhen before returning to Barca in 2021.

During two years at the LaLiga champions, working closely with Alemany, he has helped the club remain competitive on the pitch during a difficult financial period for the entity.

Last summer, Barca sold club assets and future television revenue to fund the arrivals of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.

Those signings helped pave the way for this season’s title charge, with Xavi Hernandez’s team sealing the title this past weekend with four matches to spare.

It is Barca’s first league championship since 2019, while they also won the Spanish Super Cup in January, beating Real Madrid 3-1 in the final.

Steve Carr

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