Where Are They Now? Cruyff's 1992 Barcelona Dream Team
Barcelona are undoubtedly global giants in the modern game, but it took the Catalan club until the early 1990s to claim their first European Cup. The Blaugrana have since won two trebles – in 2008/09 and 2014/15 – but many still consider the 1991/92 campaign, in which they won both La Liga and the pre-cursor to the Champions League, as the greatest season in the club’s history.
In this slideshow, we remember the players who starred in one of Barcelona’s best ever teams and reveal where they can be found today.
Andoni Zubizarreta (goalkeeper)
Zubizarreta was an ever-present figure throughout Barcelona’s superb 1991/92 season, playing every minute of every game on the road to glory in La Liga and the European Cup. The goalkeeper kept an impressive 22 clean sheets that term, including five successive shut-outs in Barcelona’s final few fixtures of the La Liga campaign. For all their attacking firepower, defensive solidity was equally key to Johan Cruyff’s side.
Zubizarreta then spent four seasons at Valencia after leaving Catalonia in 1998, before becoming Barça’s director of football in 2010. He vacated that position five years later and is currently sporting director at Marseille, the club he joined in October 2016.
Albert Ferrer (right centre-back)
Ferrer started the European Cup final alongside Nando and Koeman at the back, but he spent much of the season on the bench and completed just 15 matches overall. The defender left his boyhood club for Chelsea in 1998 and helped the Blues win the UEFA Super Cup and qualify for the Champions League in his debut season in England, before winning the FA Cup the following campaign.
Ferrer turned his hand to coaching after hanging up is boots in 2003, but stints at Vitesse, Cordoba and Mallorca were much shorter than he would have liked. In September 2017, he took charge of a Barcelona Legends team at Old Trafford.
Ronald Koeman (sweeper)
Set-piece specialist Koeman’s goal won Barcelona their first ever European Cup, the technically gifted Dutchman converting a free-kick in extra time of the final against Sampdoria. It was one of 17 strikes he managed that year, 16 of which came in 35 La Liga games – a remarkable return for someone who was, for the most part, deployed as a sweeper by Cruyff.
Koeman swapped Barcelona for Feyenoord in 1995, before calling time on his playing career two years later. He later returned to Camp Nou as assistant to Louis van Gaal – a man he later fell out with – and has since taken the helm at Vitesse, Ajax, Benfica, PSV, Valencia, AZ, Feyenoord, Southampton and Everton.
He was sacked by the Toffees following a 5-2 thrashing by Arsenal in October 2017 and is currently awaiting his next role, having supposedly rejected offers both in the Premier League and elsewhere.
Nando (left centre-back)
Although Nando only spent a couple of years at the Camp Nou, he played an integral part in the club’s achievements during that time. The centre-back, who went on to represent Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid and Espanyol (he won another league title with the former and a Copa del Rey at both), played 29 times in the Blaugrana’s triumphant La Liga campaign and was also part of the back three which helped defeat Sampdoria at Wembley.
Nando retired in 2001 and hasn’t had a great deal of involvement in football since then, instead opting to keep a low profile in his home town of Seville.
Eusebio Sacristan (right wing-back)
Spain’s Eusebio may not have been quite as good a player as the Portuguese version, but the current Real Sociedad head coach was essential to Barcelona’s domestic and European achievements under Cruyff. The midfielder played 42 matches in 1991/92 and spent three more seasons at Camp Nou thereafter, before moving to Celta Vigo in 1995.
Eusebio’s first coaching role came at Barcelona, where he was assistant manager between 2003 and 2008. He later replaced Luis Enrique as the B team’s boss and was in line to succeed him again when the former midfielder left his post as manager of the senior side in summer 2017; in the end, though, the board plumped for Ernesto Valverde and Eusebio stayed put at Sociedad.
Pep Guardiola (central midfield)
This was Guardiola’s breakthrough year at Camp Nou, the midfielder playing 40 times in all competitions having made only five appearances the previous season. He won a total of 10 major trophies during his time as a Barcelona player, and later represented Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli and Dorados before retiring in November 2006.
He was appointed as Barcelona B boss seven months later, before being named as manager of the senior side ahead of Jose Mourinho. It proved to be a wonderful decision: Guardiola’s Barça side won three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns in four seasons, and are widely considered one of the greatest club sides of all time.
The Catalan moved to Bayern Munich in 2013, winning three German championships and two DFB-Pokals. He’s currently attempting to guide Manchester City to their third title in the last seven years.
Jose Mari Bakero (central midfield)
Bakero began his career as a striker before shuffling back into midfield, which is where Cruyff used him throughout 1991/92. He chipped in with 14 goals in La Liga and the Champions League that year and was also a regular creator of chances for his colleagues.
Bakero has managed Real Sociedad, Polonia Warsaw, Lech Poznan and Juan Aurich in the last decade, while he also enjoyed a brief stint as technical director of Venezuelan side Deportivo La Guaira in 2015. He can currently be found back at Barcelona, where he works within the youth ranks at La Masia.
Juan Carlos (left wing-back)
Juan Carlos signed a deal with Barcelona in 1991 and immediately enjoyed the most successful season of his career. He appeared 28 times in all competitions as the Catalans swept all before them in Spain and on the continent, including for the entire 120 minutes at Wembley as Sampdoria were put to the sword in front of a 70,800-strong crowd.
He ended his career at Real Valladolid – the club where he turned professional – in the late 1990s and subsequently returned to the Estadio José Zorrilla as a director in 2008, before taking charge of the youth team for a short time in 2011/12.
Hristo Stoichkov (forward)
Stoichkov scored 109 goals in 212 games during his first spell at the club between 1990 and 1995, with 22 of those strikes coming in the 1991/92 campaign. The 1994 Ballon d'Or winner left Barcelona to spend a season at Parma in the mid-1990s, but couldn’t resist the chance to return to Camp Nou for two more years from 1996 onwards. He then wound down his career with CSKA Sofia, Al-Nassr, Kashiwa Reysol, Chicago Fire and D.C. United.
The Bulgarian's first job in management came with his country in 2004, but since then there have only been brief stints with Celta Vigo, Mamelodi Sundowns and Litex Lovech. He’s not coached since leaving CSKA Sofia in 2013 – possibly because he once proudly proclaimed that he didn’t believe in tactics.
Julio Salinas (forward)
Salinas found the net 205 times in 533 games for Athletic Club, Atletico Madrid, Barça, Deportivo La Coruna, Sporting Gijon and Alaves, but he only managed to score nine goals in 1991/92. Amid intense competition for places at Camp Nou, the forward struggled for playing time and often had to make do with a place among the substitutes – both in La Liga and the Champions League.
The former striker moved into the media after retiring from playing in 2000 after two years with Alaves, and is today employed as a commentator on Spanish TV.
Michael Laudrup (forward)
Widely considered one of the greatest Barcelona players of all time, Laudrup was voted the best foreign player in La Liga by Spanish sports magazine Don Balon in 1991/92. The Denmark international played whenever he was fit that season, with his 16 goals and consummate excellence in a creative role frequently making the difference for Cruyff’s men.
Laudrup turned his hand to management four years after retiring at Ajax, and has coached seven clubs (including Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Swansea) in five different countries since 2002. Al-Rayyan are his current employers, with the Lions finishing third in the Qatar Stars League in Laudrup’s first full season at the helm in 2016/17.
Andoni Goikoetxea (sub)
Not to be confused with his ‘Butcher of Bilbao’ namesake, Goikoetxea entered the fray against Sampdoria as a second-half substitute. Around a third of his 32 league appearances in 1991/92 came from the bench, although he was included in the starting XI for crunch European clashes with Benfica, Sparta Prague and Dynamo Kiev.
Following stints with Athletic Club and Osasuna, plus a brief sojourn in Japan with Yokohama Marinos, Goikoetxea called it a day in 1999. He returned to Osasuna as assistant manager seven seasons later and also spent a year in the same role at Xerez, but he’s not held a formal position in football since 2010.
Txiki Begiristain (sub)
Begiristain, on the right of the picture above, may have been an unused substitute at Wembley, but he was nevertheless a pivotal part of Cruyff’s Dream Team, playing 34 of 38 matches in La Liga and eight of Barcelona’s 11 in continental competition. A left winger who was also capable of playing through the middle, Begiristain contributed nine goals in 1991/92, including a vital brace against Kaiserslautern in the second round of the European Cup.
Begiristain was the Catalans’ sporting director between 2003 and 2010 and presently holds the same position at Manchester City, who he joined alongside former Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano in 2012.
Guillermo Amor (squad)
Michael Laudrup was the only outfielder to start more La Liga encounters than Amor in 1991/92, but the midfielder didn’t even make the matchday squad for the European Cup showpiece in London. He played at Barcelona for a decade in all, departing in 1998 to join Fiorentina in Serie A; Amor then spent a couple of years at Villarreal, before a curious three-game spell with Livingston in the Scottish Premier League.
Amor worked behind the scenes at Barcelona after his playing days ended and subsequently spent a couple of years in charge of Adelaide United between 2015 and 2017. He’s now back in Catalonia, working in the Blaugrana’s youth ranks and as the first team’s director of institutional and sporting relations.
Johan Cruyff (manager)
After representing Barcelona as a player in the 1970s, Cruyff returned as manager in 1988 and played a major role in shaping the club we know today. As future boss, Guardiola once said: “Cruyff painted the chapel; Barcelona coaches since merely restore or improve it.”
The iconic Dutchman won four La Liga titles, the European Cup and a Copa del Rey during his eight seasons in charge at Camp Nou. He remained close to the club following his departure in 1996 and recommended the appointments of Frank Rijkaard and Guardiola, as well as being named honorary president in March 2010.
Cruyff passed away in 2016 after losing a battle with lung cancer. He is arguably the most influential figure in the history of the sport.
Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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