Ernesto Valverde enters a select group of Barcelona managers

Only four coaches had won their first five league games in their debut season

That total is now five after Valverde's perfect start continued at home vs. Eibar

Valverde entra en el selecto grupo de Venables, Van Gaal, Tito Vilanova y Tata Martino
Valverde entra en el selecto grupo de Venables, Van Gaal, Tito Vilanova y Tata Martino | sport

Ernesto Valverde has entered into a select group of managers who have won their first five league games in their first season in charge of Barcelona. 

Valverde joing Terry Venables, Louis van Gaal, Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino in completing the feat, four managers that, excluding the Argentine, who lost the title on the last day, won the league in their first season at the club. 

Barça lead La Liga with 15 points after their five wins. They have been against: 

  • Jornada 1: Barcelona - Betis 2-0
  • Jornada 2: Alavés - Barcelona 0-2
  • Jornada 3: Barcelona - Espanyol 5-0
  • Jornada 4: Getafe - Barcelona 1-2
  • Jornada 5: Barcelona - Eibar 6-1

Only four managers have managed to do the same in their first season in charge, starting with English coach Terry Venables, who led Barça to the title in 1984-85, ending a spell without winning it. It should be noted that jornada three was delayed this season, so jornada six comes into play. There was also a memorable win at the Bernabeu in jornada one:

  • Jornada 1:  Real Madrid - Barcelona 0-3
  • Jornada 2: Barcelona - Real Zaragoza 4-0
  • Jornada 4: Barcelona - Espanyol 1-0
  • Jornada 5: Betis - Barcelona 1-2
  • Jornada 6: Barcelona - Osasuna 2-0

Louis van Gaal, many years later, also managed to win his first five league games after replacing Bobby Robson for the 1997-98 campaign. Here are his results:

  • Jornada 1:  Barcelona - Real Sociedad 3-0
  • Jornada 2: Valencia - Barcelona 0-3
  • Jornada 4: Barcelona - Deportivo de la Coruña 2-1
  • Jornada 5: Sporting Gijón - Barcelona 1-4
  • Jornada 6: Barcelona - Tenerife 3-2

Many years later, on their way to 100 points, Tito Vilanova's Barça kicked off the season with five wins, too:

  • Jornada 1: Barcelona - Real Sociedad 5-1
  • Jornada 2: Osasuna - Barcelona 1-2
  • Jornada 3: Barcelona - Valencia 1-0
  • Jornada 4: Getafe - Barcelona 1-4
  • Jornada 5: Barcelona - Granada 2-0

Gerardo 'Tata' Martino replaced Vilanova but didn't have the same luck as his predecessors. Despite winning his first five league games, he saw his Barça side lose the title on the final day. A win against Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou would have won the league for the Blaugrana, but they were held, and Diego Simeone's side won the title. Martino's first five games:

  • Jornada 1: Barcelona - Levante 7-0
  • Jornada 2: Málaga - Barcelona 0-1
  • Jornada 3: Valencia - Barcelona 2-3
  • Jornada 4: Barcelona - Sevilla 3-2
  • Jornada 5: Rayo Vallecano - Barcelona 0-4

Othere have started the season with five wins, but never in their first season: James Francis Bellamy (1929-30), Rinus Michels (1972-1973), Johan Cruyff (1990-1991) and Pep Guardiola (2009-2010).



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