Washington Spirit hires Barcelona Femení manager Jonatan Giráldez as new head coach

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The Washington Spirit has named current FC Barcelona Femení manager Jonatan Giráldez as its new head coach.

Giráldez will remain with Barcelona until the end of the season, according to a statement released by the team on Tuesday. An interim head coach has yet to be named.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the team and become part of the Washington Spirit family,” Giráldez said in the statement. “It’s a great honor and a greater responsibility to help bring the club to the next level so I will dedicate my heart and soul to make everyone around the team proud and part of something great.

“I really want to thank Michele and Mark for the opportunity my family and myself have been given. I will be looking forward to meeting the staff, players and fans in DC soon.”

Giráldez joined Barcelona as an assistant coach in 2019, the same year the club won its first-ever UEFA Champions League. In 2021, he was appointed the club’s manager, and he won the Liga F title, the Copa de la Reina and Supercopa de España in his first season.

Giráldez built on that success in the 2022-23 season, when Barcelona won the treble by winning Liga F, Champions League and the Supercopa de España. He is currently one of three finalists for the best FIFA women’s coach of 2023 award. Chelsea’s Emma Hayes, who accepted the United States women’s national team job in November, is also a finalist.

Barcelona is currently third in Liga F and competing in the Champions League. The Washington Spirit finished the 2023 NWSL season outside of the playoff picture.

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