Barcelona tried to hire Jose Mourinho as replacement for Frank Rijkaard in 2008 but he failed to get the entire Barca board members on his side and as a result, lost the job to his greatest rival in club football, Pep Guardiola - who led the club to an impressive 14 titles in four years
Current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was close to becoming Barcelona coach almost a decade ago.
The Portuguese tactician was said to have made power-point presentation in the process, but a number of the outfit's board members failed to approve of his candidacy.
He would have taken over from Frank Rijkaard should he had impressed the people seated in the room at the time.
SunSport however report that Pep Guardiola emerged as the preferred choice owing to crucial intervention of club legend Johan Cruyff - who played and managed the club.
Pep was later promoted from Barcelona B to coach the senior team - a risk that paid off tremendously at the end of the day.
Details of the boardroom talks are revealed in a new documentary, Take The Ball, Pass The Ball, which is out today.
Joan Laporta, Barcelona president between 2003 and 2010, said: “It was a long process because there were board members who wanted Mourinho.
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"They argued that we needed a manager who would get results quickly.
"Given there were four or five directors keen on Mourinho the vice president organised a meeting with him and off he went."
Marc Ingla, the former Catalans’ vice-president, said: “Mourinho is a winner and it felt like a safe choice. It was a big brand. He was recently the coach at Chelsea and was on the market.
"By that time, he was employing the 4-3-3. He even prepared a PowerPoint with some pitch positions of the players and typical movements. I’m sure he would have been successful."
At that point, Barcelona were searching for a manager who would translate the Cruyff's passing and possession philosophy down to the players.
Mourinho had the right credentials, having worked as an assistant coach at Barcelona between 1996 and 2000, his orientation about the club changed during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Xavi noted: “It’s a very different style to the football we play at Barca."
Victor Valdes, the retired Barcelona goalkeeper, says Guardiola quickly emerged as the surprise choice despite his limited coaching experience.
Valdes, who finished his career in 2017 with Middlesbrough, explained: “The president and Johan Cruyff were good friends and Laporta had complete confidence in Johan’s opinion.
"Johan told him the man for the job was training the youth team. All he needed to do was promote him."
Laporta added: "I asked [the board] if they thought Pep was ready and both Txiki Begiristain and Johan who saw him regularly said he was.
"Mourinho’s agent called me and said: ‘Are you going to appoint Mourinho or not? Because if you’re interested we need to talk.’
"And I said to him: "No. Jorge. We’ve chosen Pep Guardiola."
"So I told Pep that I wanted him to be the next manager if the season didn’t end well.
"We were having lunch and Pep, half in jest, said to me: ‘If you appoint me as coach I’ll win everything for you!’ He honestly said that!"
Guardiola’s appointment was an inspired one as he won 14 trophies in four seasons, including two Champions League titles [2009 and 2011].
This time is often regarded as one of the greatest spells in football club management.
Xavi added: "When I heard Guardiola would be our new manager I knew that everything would go well.
"I hadn’t worked with him as a coach but we were team-mates and I knew what a perfectionist he was. And I thought this is going to be great!"
Legit.ng earlier reported that Jose Mourinho wants to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Manchester United during January transfer window.
The 37-year-old Swedish professional football star spent two terms at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho and left the Premier League side in March this year for a move to LA Galaxy.
In his first season at Old Trafford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Manchester United win the Europa League title and also the EFL Cup.
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