Míchel has won the esteem of the Girona fans from day one. With a simple and humble nature that did not clash with genius and personality in the dressing room, the Madrid coach promoted the team at the first attempt and this year he has the challenge of saving it or, as he says, being the best Girona in history. There is still half a league to go, though Michel is on the way to being able to remove the thorn from its two previous stages a First to the sidewalk Lightning and Osca, in which he was sacked and the clubs relegated. The bold play of the team has amazed this season and served to, among other things, scratch a point from the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid. Tomorrow, Míchel will face Barça in Montilivi, the leader of the League.
It will not be the first time that Míchel the coach has faced the Blaugrana team – the balance is of three defeats, in three games-, but it will be the debut against Xavi Hernández. The man from Madrid and the man from Valais have never met before, as technicians, and Montilivi will be the stage for the first match. During his time as players, on the other hand, they did face each other a few times and Míchel was even able to celebrate a few joys. More than two decades ago, when the current coach of Girona, then number 8 of Rayo Barça won two consecutive seasons, with Xavi as starter, and coached by Reixach first and Louis Van Gaal, then, in Vallecas by 2-1 (2001-02) and 1-0 (2002-03). In addition, that first season, Míchel even managed to draw at Camp Nou (1-1). Only a couple of years before, the current coach of Girona had turned upside down the Camp Nou with a 0-2 – Xavi was on the bench – which caused white handkerchiefs to be brought out in the stands.
All of this serves to make it clear that Míchel knows how to defeat Barça and Xavi. Míchel’s record against the Terrance, in his time as a player, is two wins, one draw and four defeats. If we open the focus and analyze all the matches of the Girona coach against the Blaugrana team, things get more complicated. The Madrid player’s overall record against Barça is three wins, two draws and six defeats. For the record, also a goal he scored against the French goalkeeper Richard Dutruel at Camp Nou in the 5-1 thrashing in 2000-01.