In life, three things are guaranteed. Death, taxes, and Barcelona mounting a Champions League challenge. The Spanish champions have reached the quarter-finals at least every season since 2007, but a 4-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16 has cost manger Luis Enrique his future.

Humiliation is something that Blaugrana are far more used to handing out than receiving, and suffering it from an inconsistent PSG side makes it more surprising. With Barcelona’s Champions League future, virtually over, Enrique has announced he will leave at the end of the season, but who will be the next man to assume the mantle and continue Barca’s success?

Jorge Sampaoli

After success with Chilean side Universidad, there has been no looking back for Jorge Sampaoli. He defeated Spain at the 2014 World Cup with Chile and then lifted the 2015 Copa America title. Expectancy was very high at Sevilla after three successive Europa League triumphs, but the 56-year-old has delivered.

His new club are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, and are challenging for the La Liga title for the first time in a decade. The Argentine likes a hard-pressing game, but still wants his players to look after the ball. The defensive work may not please the Messi-Suarez-Neymar front three, but something must change for Barca to maintain their success.

Arsène Wenger

Many would love to see Arsène Wenger have a crack at managing Barcelona after 20 years at Arsenal. His heavily possession-based style of play suits the Spaniards, and in recent years he has developed a counter-attacking team, which has also occurred at the Nou Camp. But there are just too many question marks over him to give him the job.

The Frenchman hasn’t won a league title since 2004, he has never lifted a European crown, he may not even be good enough for Arsenal next season after another humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich, and at the age of 67 he would go against Barca’s recent policy of employing young managers. It could be a fairy-tale ending for Wenger, but there is just too much standing in his way.

A return to France is perhaps the most likely destination for him.

Ronald Koeman

Barcelona love employing former players, and Ronald Koeman is an undoubted club legend. So far, his managerial career has no way near matched his playing efforts, and he has struggled since initial success in Holland. He failed at Benfica and a Copa del Rey triumph couldn’t save himself from the sack at Valencia, but Koeman has since guided Southampton into Europe and is on course to do the same with current side Everton. The Dutchman likes a high work-rate from his players, and he could struggle to work with the big egos at Barca. It’s an appointment that could come, but Koeman is still some way off landing a job of Barcelona’s pedigree.

Mauricio Pochettino

Probably one step along from Koeman, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is competing for Premier League titles, but just competing is not good enough for Barcelona. Not only that, Pochettino’s European record is weak, especially this season’s dismal Champions League campaign.

He is an exciting young manager, but he needs to start adding silverware to enter that top bracket. Style-wise, Pochettino is very much in the new mould of combining counter-attacking and possession-based football. He has been lauded for his high-pressing game, with fitness a massive part of his training regime.


Real Sociedad boss Eusebio has done wonders ever since arriving at the Anoeta stadium, firstly saving their season after David Moyes’s hap-hazarded spell.

He has taken things up a notch this campaign, with the club now fifth in La Liga. Eusebio is a former Barca player, playing over 200 times, and managed Barcelona B just like Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova. The five-time European Champions often go for shrewd appointments, and Eusebio could be another.