Maccabi Tel Aviv announced the signing of Oscar Garcia as its next coach on Tuesday, handing the inexperienced Spaniard a two-year contract.

The 39-year-old Garcia spent the last two years coaching the Barcelona youth team after a successful playing career which saw him score 21 goals in 69 league appearances for the Catalans as well as play for the likes of Valencia and Espanyol.

However, Garcia will be guiding a senior team for the first time with Maccabi after new yellow- and-blue sports director and former Barca teammate Jordi Cruyff decided to bring in his old acquaintance rather than a local name like Ran Ben-Shimon, who recently coached Ironi Kiryat Shmona to the championship.

“I am honored to be joining a club with such a great history,” Oscar Garcia told the club’s official website. “I am looking forward to all the challenges that lay ahead and I am committed to do my best for the club.”

Following Garcia’s signing, the four most important people at Maccabi are now all foreigners, with the owner being Canadian Mitch Goldhar, his representative in Israel the Cypriot Jack Angelides and the sports director a Dutchman.

“Oscar Garcia is a young coach with a great deal of ambition,” Goldhar said. “Oscar’s winning mentality and philosophy of hard work is in keeping with the culture we expect to cultivate at Maccabi.”

Cruyff was delighted with his first recruit, although he will know that both he and his coach will be judged harshly and swiftly considering Maccabi’s lack of success in recent seasons.

Maccabi hasn’t won a championship since 2002/03, and despite holding the biggest budget in the league, Tel Aviv only finished the recent season in sixth place.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to attract to Maccabi Tel Aviv a coach of Oscar’s caliber. Especially as he had several other options,” Cruyff said.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger