Jose Mourinho and Arsenal and Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho set to lock horns with ex-Arsenal and Barcelona star as Besiktas announce Dutchman’s appointment

Jose Mourinho will battle it out with a familiar face in the Turkish Super Lig next season as former Arsenal and Barcelona star Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been confirmed as Besiktas’ new manager. The Dutch coach has succeeded Serdar Topraktepe in the Vodafone Arena dugout, signing a two-year deal.

Van Bronckhorst follows Jose Mourinho to Turkiye after the iconic coach became Fenerbahce’s boss this week. He’d been out of management since January after being sacked by Serie A giants AS Roma. It is perhaps the biggest managerial appointment in Turkish football history, but the two-time UEFA Champions League-winning tactician will come up against a FC Barcelona legend in the Istanbul derby.

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The former Barcelona midfielder had been out of a job since November 2022, when he was sacked by Scottish Premiership outfit Rangers. He impressed at the start of that tenure, guiding the Gers to the title.

However, Rangers capitulated at the end of his reign, and their manager was shown the Ibrox door. He oversaw 42 wins in 68 games in charge of the Scottish heavyweights and will now take charge of Besiktas. The Black Eagles finished sixth in the Turkish Super Lig last season and will be eager for an improvement under the Dutchman.

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in the running for the Besiktas job but has seemingly missed out on Van Bronckhorst. The Norwegian hasn’t returned to management since being sacked by the Red Devils three years ago. He replaced Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout.

Mourinho is tasked with overseeing a response from Fenerbahce after they missed out on the title to rival Galatasaray. The Yellow Canaries finished second, three points behind the champions, despite reaching 99 points.

The Portuguese coach has a somewhat frosty relationship with Arsenal and Barcelona from his days managing Chelsea and Real Madrid. He was embroiled in several memorable clashes with the two European giants and will now wage war with Van Bronkhorst in the Turkish Super Lig.

Mourinho gave an ever-confident press conference after Fenerbahce unveiled him as their new manager. He said (via CNN):

“I want to work for Turkish football, I want to work for the Turkish league. I want to help to improve it, but the most important thing for me is not Turkish football, it’s not the Turkish league, it’s Fenerbahçe. To finish, I want to say that, from the moment I signed my contract, your dreams are now my dreams.

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