If you're a Barcelona fan who started to love the club since the Ronaldinho Era, then you have to admire and remember all the contributions Frank Rijkaard has made to the institution. He coached an amazing team that enjoyed tremendous sucess, and his work was crucial for the glorious era of Pep Guardiola, his successor.
Since leaving the Blaugrana in 2008, we've rarely heard from Rijkaard, which is depressing since he's such a big part of what this club has become. But he has spoken again! And Rijkaard spoke about Lionel Messi -- who made his debut with the Dutchman --, and new Barça signing Arda Turan, who was coached by Frank back in the day. Here's a few highlights of his quotes:
What do you do for a living?
I live a quiet life in Amsterdam with my family. I don't work in football, I have other businesses.
What memories do you have of your time as Barça boss?
I'm really proud. I had some very happy times there. There were some sad times too, but I always try to paint Barça in the best way I can.
You started something there that still endures. Is that how you see it?
We arrived at a club that had not won anything for several years. The first half of that season was tough, but then everything began to click. It was thanks to the players, especially Ronaldinho. He helped found that new-look Barça.
What do you think when you look at the career of that little Argentine to whom you once gave his first start?
Messi is just phenomenal. I'm pleased to see what he's achieved in football. However, it wasn't just Messi; it was the Iniestas, Xavis and Valdés's too. All those players arrived on the scene at the same time and went on to write their names in footballing history.
What was the secret to Barça's success?
The club has always been successful with its foreign imports, but the day arrived when the club's academy players came of age, had the experience and valour to take over. Thanks to that the club enjoyed a golden era of success.
Let's talk about the club's current crop of players. You coached Arda at Galatasaray.
Arda is a huge talent, a massive heart and a great footballer. He's already shown as much at Atlético. He's hard-working and technically strong. Arda Turan can bring something special to this Barça.
What do you think of the current Barça side?
It's too early to say. Messi is out injured and the team now has to keep going without him. We'll see how they do. Aside from him, Barcelona has enough talent to achieve their goals.
Source: Diario Marca