JERUSALEM, May 22 (Reuters) - Barcelona’s youth coach Oscar Garcia will take charge of Maccabi Tel Aviv for the next two seasons, the Israeli Premier League club said on Tuesday.
Garcia, who guided Barcelona’s youth team for two years, was persuaded to coach a senior team for the first time by his former Barcelona team mate Jordi Cruyff, the Maccabi sports director.
Garcia, 39, played as a forward with Barcelona, Valencia and Espanyol before retiring in 2005. He represented Spain up to under-23 level but never as a full international.
“Maccabi Tel Aviv is pleased to announce the appointment of Oscar Garcia as the club’s head coach after he signed a two-year contract,” the club said in a statement on their website (www.maccabi-tlv.co.il).
The club did not release other details of Garcia’s appointment.
“I look forward to confronting all the challenges that await us and I commit to do my best for the club’s success,” Garcia said.
Maccabi are Israel’s richest club but Canadian owner Mitch Goldhar’s $35 million investment on players before last season failed to yield desired results. Caretaker coach Nir Levin guided the club after Motti Iwanir was sacked in December.
The club, which last won the league title in 2003 and the cup in 2005, failed to qualify for Europe after finishing in sixth place in the league. (Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Pritha Sarkar)