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Grateful Ilaix Moriba bows to Ronald Koeman after full-time whistle against Sevilla

Ronald Koeman took charge of Barcelona at a very strange time for the Catalan club.

Barcelona had just finished the season second to eternal rivals Real Madrid in the La Liga table, and had suffered the most embarrassing elimination from the UEFA Champions League after an 8-2 defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich.

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The club’s best-ever player made news of his will to leave the club in the summer, and Barcelona were facing a transitional season that was in no way going to be easy for them.

The sacking of Quique Setien meant that Barcelona needed a new boss – and up stepped Koeman, a former centre-back who has legendary status as a player at the club.

Koeman has since tried his best to get the club back on track in what has been a transitional season for the Spanish giants, and an integral part of his resurgence has been built around youth.

Koeman has brought through young talent in Barcelona’s first team set up, such as the likes of Riqui Puig, Pedri and Ansu Fati – and made them regular features alongside the old guard of Leo Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

Another youngster who owes his spot in the team to the Dutch manager is Ilaix Moriba. Moriba has been in the club’s renowned La Masia academy for nearly a decade now and was given his first senior start for Barcelona against Cornella in the Copa Del Rey last month.

Moriba also recently made his league debut earlier this month in a 5-1 win over Alaves, in which he also provided an assist for fellow youngster Francisco Trincao.

Moriba was also sent on from the bench in Barcelona’s last La Liga outing against Sevilla, and he finished the match in what was a 2-0 away win for the Blaugrana at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

The cameras caught a grateful Moriba’s fantastic gesture towards his manager at full time, as the Spanish youngster was seen to be bowing to Koeman – in order to pay homage to the coach who gave him his first big break in the highest level of the professional level there is.

The gesture exemplifies the brilliant relationship that Koeman has with the academy graduates – a lot of whom he has helped shine in the present – and hopefully in the future for years to come.

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By Sagarneel Chakraborty

Living and breathing everything regarding the beautiful game for a decade. Avid follower of all things football, with a soft corner for the Blues.

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