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Ex-Barca chief Begiristain joins City

Manchester City have appointed former Barcelona technical director Txiki Begiristain as their new director of football.

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Begiristain, 48, will be tasked with a shake-up in player recruitment and assist City manager Roberto Mancini with first-team operations.

"I am very pleased indeed to have been offered such an exciting opportunity," Begiristain told City's official website. "The progress and on-field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to [the club's] future success."

During his time at Camp Nou, Begiristain - who enjoyed a glittering player with Barca as part of Johan Cruyff's famed 'Dream Team' - oversaw a period of unparalleled success for the club as they emerged as the preeminent force in world football under Pep Guardiola.

City's football administrator Brian Marwood was previously responsible for signing players, but has now become managing director of the club's new academy, which has been backed by a £200 million investment as City seek to establish themselves as one of the game's major players in procuring and developing young talent.

Ferran Soriano, City's chief executive and also previously of Barcelona, was behind Begiristain's appointment and welcomed his former colleague with open arms.

"The long term future of the football club is dependent upon our ability to recruit and develop young players all the way through to the first team squad," Soriano said. "The focus must be on both academy and first team and the close co-ordination between them.

"Given the scale and importance of this challenge, we want to commit our very best people to it. I am delighted that Brian Marwood will take leadership of the CFA initiative and I am equally very pleased to welcome an individual of Txiki Begiristain's calibre to the club.

"I have no doubt that together, and in support of Roberto Mancini and the wider football club, they will be a formidable team. ''

New City Football Academy chief Marwood added: "The club's new football operations structure is a hallmark of our hard work to date and the two leadership roles are a necessity borne of both success and ambition.

"Txiki and I have a shared philosophy when it comes to football operations and I very much look forward to the work that we will carry out together.

"The leadership of CFA allows me to take up an incredibly challenging role. We have a shared expectation that CFA will shape the footballing future of MCFC and as a result it is a role through which I feel I can make a major contribution to the club.''

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