Jonatan Giráldez joins Washington Spirit as new head coach

Barcelona's Spanish coach Jonathan Giraldez talks with Barcelona's Spanish defender Irene Paredes (L) during the women's UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg football match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Madrid on March 22, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Washington Spirit announced that FC Barcelona Femení’s coach, Jonatan Giráldez, will join the team in the capital of the US as their club’s new head coach. This is both a surprising and expected move, as both parties had expressed to be wanting to move forward.

He will move from Barcelona to the United States once the season for Barça ends. According to the RFEF calendar, the last league match is on the 16th of June. But the NWSL will start earlier, so an interim head coach will be named shortly.

“It’s a great honour 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,” said Giráldez.

Jonatan Giráldez is one of three nominees for the best FIFA women’s football coach of 2023. He will arrive in the NWSL to compete for the title, as he has proven to be someone who can create champions of a very talented squad.

Jonatan Giráldez will meet known faces

To do so, he will face Gotham NY, a team that, after winning the title last season, has signed most of the star players from the league such as Rose Lavelle, Emily Sonnet, Tierna Davidson and Crystal Dunn. He will also meet again with Esther González and Maitane López.

“We are grateful for his decision to join us. He will help take the Spirit to the next leveI for both players and fans.”, said Michele Kang, Washington Spirit’s owner.

Businesswoman in action

On May 16, OL Groupe and Michelle Kang announced the formation of a separate entity. It would be composed of her stake in the Spirit and OL Groupe’s Olympique Lyon Féminin.

OL Groupe would retain a 48% stake in the resulting new entity, and Kang would become the club’s majority owner and CEO. Kang’s acquisition of the Spirit was named the Sports Business Journal 2023 deal of the year.

Michelle Kang made a brilliant movement. She is bringing one of the best coaches in the world nowadays to one of her clubs. But also pushing him away from Barcelona, increasing the opportunity for Olympique Lyonnais to be on top of Europe again.

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