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Jose Maria Bakero

Norwich Career: Trial (July 1997)
Current Club: Barcelona (Spain) (Head of Youth Academy)
Date of Birth: 11/02/1963 (Goizueta, Spain)
Nationality: Spanish


Amended from an article on the Eastern Counties Network's Canaries Online mailing list.

"Former Spanish international Jose Maria Bakero came to Norwich on trial at the end of July 1997. The 34-year-old former Barcelona star checked in for training at Colney yesterday after being rejected by City's Division One rivals Middlesbrough The quality that brought Bakero a European Cup winners medal in 1992 and took him to the World Cup finals for his country was apparently not what Boro boss Bryan Robson was looking for. The goal-scoring midfielder was available on a free transfer after spending a season in Mexico with Vera Cruz and was seen as a replacement for Andy Johnson. The highlight of Bakero's career was the Barcelona side of 1992 that won the European Cup. Bakero was part of a team that included Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov, Danish genius Michael Laudrup and Dutch sweeper Ronald Koeman who scored the goal that won the cup for manager Johann Cruyff's side. Bakero played in the pre-season friendly against Cambridge United but failed to convince manager Mike Walker that he was what the Canaries were looking for".

BBC's Teletext reported on 23rd December 1999 that Bakero had returned to Barcelona as Assistant to Louis Van Gaal, replacing Ronald Koeman who had departed for his native Holland and Vitesse Arnhem
. He has also since worked as a sports adviser with the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2004/05 he coached Malaga B and in August 2005 was appointed Director of Sport at Real Sociedad. At the end of the 2005/6 season, he was appointed coach but seven games into the following season, he was sacked.

In October 2007, Bakero joined Ronald Koeman's (another Barcelona teammate) coaching staff at Valencia, but was dismissed in April 2008. On 10th November 2009, more than a year after his last job, he signed with Polonia Warsaw as head coach. While the team was last in the league at that point, not only did he manage to prevent relegation, but also led the club to a win against city neighbours Legia Warszawa, the first time in ten years

He was sacked by Polonia on 13 September 2010, after suffering the first loss of the season. On 3rd November 2010, he took charge of Lech Poznan, his first game in charge being a Europa League win over Manchester City. He was sacked by Lech on 25th February 2012.

He moved to Chile in 2013 to coach Juan Aurich before being fired in September of that year due to poor results. He was later technical director at Venezuelan club Deportivo La Guaira from 2015 to 2017 before returning to Barcelona on 10 July 2017, as head of the youth academy alongside former teammate Guillermo Amor

The Early Years

José Mari Bakero Escudero began his playing career as a forward but was not a prolific goalscorer and was converted into a defender. Bakero made his senior debut with Real Sociedad in 1980 when only 17. He played 160 games for Real during eight seasons and was a member of the team that won La Liga in 1981 and 1982. His team mates included Luis Arconada, Jesus Mari Zamora and Satrústegui. In 1988 he signed for FC Barcelona where he was joined by several other Basque players including Txiki Begiristain, Lopez Rekarte, Julio Saline and Goiko. They would form the backbone of the legendary "Dream Team". Between 1988 and 1997, Bakero played 329 games for FC Barcelona in nine seasons. He also played for Spain, making 29 appearances and scoring 7 goals.

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