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“I remember when I played against Barcelona under Yuan Cruyff, we kept running throughout the game. I told myself this is what I like, I would like to be on this team and know what they are doing.” Kiki Cettin has an opportunity to realize his dream that he did not achieve as a player.

Citin did not have the opportunity to fulfill his dream and play for Barcelona under Cruyff, but now in January 2020 he has that opportunity after Officially appointed as the new technical director for Barcelona, To be the savior of the Catalan team running behind a coach who applies Cruyff’s thought 3 years after losing identity with Ernesto Valverde.

The 61-year-old coach is influenced and passionate about Cruyff’s thought, who played against him while he was a player in the 1980s.

In the same style of possession and short passes that characterized Barcelona for decades, he beat with Real Betis the same Catalan team at Camp Nou and tortured Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last season.

Facing Barcelona, ​​Yuan Cruyff was a watershed in the life of Cettin, who has loved the coach role since he was a player.

It tells about her “How can a team permanently own the ball and let its opponent run throughout the match, since that match I began to understand how I felt throughout my life and during my career and started watching football differently.”

“I wanted to analyze what happened and understand how I felt on the field and this is what I wanted to implement when I became a coach.”

“I wanted the ball.”

Passes are not enough

Citin was a seasoned LaLiga midfielder, and Racing Santander represented the city team where he was born for 8 years, before the opportunity to play for Atletico Madrid came in 1985 and since then everything has changed.

Citin says: “I played under 14 coaches during my career as a player, and with them I learned what I shouldn’t do as a coach but among those I played with and left a mark in my character was Luis Aragones who made me see things differently.”

“Aragonese injected competition in my blood after I was comfortable in Racing Santander because of my eight years there, as it was enough for some coaches to score two goals and do some passes, but in Atletico it was different and you had to do more and work more to be in the team.”

Citin spent 3 years with Atletico, the first two seasons of them were better than the third during which he entered into disputes with the club president Jesus Gil led to his departure after he participated in winning the Spanish Super Cup 1985 at the expense of Barcelona.

Citin continued his career as a player with Logrones, Racing Santander and Levante before retiring in 1996, coinciding with the end of Cruyff’s historical period in Barcelona.

Just as he began his career as a player, coach Citicin made his first appearance with Racing Santander in 2001 and spent a season with him before graduating between the second and third-tier teams in unsuccessful experiences and a short trip in 2006 with Equatorial Guinea.

Citin’s first coaching success was with Deportivo Lugo, who took him to the second level and stayed with him for 6 years before the opportunity to train in La Liga came for the first time.

In October 2015, Citin became a coach for Las Palmas, who was struggling in relegation centers but led them to 11th place and stay in his first season to continue the journey.

However, in March 2017, Cettin announced his intention to leave the Canary Islands club at the end of the season due to disputes with management over the terms of the contract renewal, leaving the team in the 14th position.

In the season following his departure, Las Palmas landed for the second degree.

Once he left Las Palmas, Cettin moved to Real Betis for a 3-season contract.

“In Andalusia, passion takes a different form.”

“For a man from northern Spain like me, it can be difficult. I believe that you achieve victories by working right, but the matter here is different. You must win because we are Betis!”

“Of course, there are audiences who don’t understand why you do things or why you need to do them but they are only interested in winning or losing and for me this is the hardest thing to deal with in this profession.”

Citin led Real Betis to finish the first season under his career in sixth place to qualify the team to play in the European League after years of moving away from the first half of the league table.

Everyone still remembers his victory over Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu, with the goal of Sanabria, thanks to Real Betis in Arabic.

In the second half of the season, Betis achieved a series of eight games, which included a draw with Atletico Madrid.

“Many Betis fans adopted my idea of ​​soccer, but it wasn’t easy to achieve.”

“It was difficult for them to understand that when we lost the games in the first round but finishing the season in sixth place made it more acceptable, the fans saw the result of our insistence on playing from behind. This method allows you to control the playing rhythm even if you have to pass back more than once. Before you get there to find the free player that gives us excel. “

“There are still some fans who think that the goalkeeper has to throw the ball into the opponent’s half court as quickly as possible when the team is late.”

“In Andalusia, if you do not have the same passion, you will not survive.”

But what did Sittin encounter to impose his style?

Last season, Real Betis was one of the most adherent La Liga team in the style of its coach, distinguished by his unchanging style, whatever the name of the competitor or stadium.

Despite beating Barcelona 4-3 at Camp Nou, the same team plunged a massive defeat from hosts Leganes with a white trio, to begin with the fans of the landowners mocking City.

“Take this for the sake,” fans of Leganes shouted with each goal from Youssef Al-Nossairi’s trilogy.

After the match, Citicine came out to return the head to Leganes, declaring, “Sometimes what Leganes does is successful, sometimes it doesn’t work, so they always go back to where they are.”

“They will find it difficult if I ask them to play like us.”

Citin left Betis at the end of the season after defeating Real Madrid 2-0 in the Santiago Bernabeu, and ended the league in tenth place without catching a European seat.

But his legacy in Betis was greater, with Radio Cadena Sir reporting last October that the team’s players had asked for the return of Kiki Citin.

But Cettin seems to be on his way to fulfilling his late 80s dream.

How Citicin plays

In most of his matches with Betis, Citin relied mostly on a defensive trio.

Citin believes that his team’s possession of the ball starts from the goalkeeper, even against teams that play high pressure on his defense line.

You always find the goalkeeper passes the ball to one of the two central defenders or to the pivot player to start the attack.


Citin gives its 8 and 10 midfielders their freedom to move on the field in order to receive the ball and distribute the toys.

Therefore, Citin needs creative players who have the ability to pass properly in the middle of their court, with the two backs advancing to participate in the attack to receive the passes.

In this way, Betis beat Barcelona at Camp Nou, where Citen surprised his host by playing with high pressure and player control for the player to close all the pass corners in front of them.

William Carvalho was the biggest role in the half-field to transfer the ball to the half of Barcelona, ​​with left-back Junior Verbo who scored a goal and created most dangerous opportunities.



And when you lose the ball, everyone bounces back to the defense, and this is the opposite of what he found from Barcelona.



In Barcelona, ​​Citin will certainly not play with three defenders, as the list of the Catalan team does not mainly include this number of ready defenders.

But there is an opportunity for Citi to exploit the talents of Frankie de Jong and Arthur Melo in the midfield, although the latter needs physical development to suit his idea.

And with Lionel Messi, Citin will definitely get an answer to his old question, “How do you get everyone to run after you.”

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