28 Feb, 2022 @ 17:47
1 min read

Wales and Liverpool football legend and former Real Madrid manager John Toshack ‘seriously ill’ in Spain’s Barcelona

John Toshack File Photo
File photo dated 14-11-2009 of John Toshack, Wales manager

WELSH playing legend and former manager Real Madrid John Toshack is in intensive care at a Barcelona hospital.

He is being treated for pneumonia that is thought to have set in after he was infected with Covid. The 72-year-old is on a ventilator.

Toshack played for Wales and Liverpool, winning the Europèan Cup in 1977 and 1978, and three English League titles.

He then became something of a trail-blazer for British managers in Spain, having coaching spells with Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Deportivo La Coruña and  He also managed Real Murcia.

John Toshack File Photo
John Toshack is in intensive care. Photo: Cordon Press

The former striker managed Real Sociedad not once, not twice, but three times, although he is best remembered for a further two separate stints at Real Madrid. 

He steered Los Blancos to the league title in 1990 and the 1987 Copa del rey with Sociedad.

He also coached in Turkey and France having started with Swansea City as player manager and later became the Welsh national team manager.

Real Sociedad also took a punt on current West Ham boss David Moyes, albeit an unsuccessful one. And, TV pundit Gary Neville was given his first managerial job at Valencia – although it turned into a disaster.

Other British managers to have made a mark in Spanish football include:

Sir Bobby Robson

Arguably Britain’s most successful overseas manager and beloved by the entire footballing world, Robson won the Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners’ Cup while at Barcelona.

During his Nou Camp tenure he also helped nurture a young translator who went on to become a half-decent manager too. His name was Jose Mourinho.

Terry Venables

Successful spells at Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers saw Barcelona come calling for Venables in 1984. ‘El Tel’, as many still affectionately refer to him, was a resounding success during his three-year tenure, guiding the Catalan giants to their first league title in 11 years and also securing the league cup. His winning formula involved bringing British strikers Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes on board.

Chris Coleman

Former Wales boss Chris Coleman enjoyed great success at Real Sociedad in 2007.

A stunning record of 12 wins from 21 games saw his side fly up the Segunda Division table, but he unfortunately resigned in January 2008 after a fall-out with the club’s president.

Howard Kendall

On the field, results didn’t go as well as Englishman Kendall had planned during his two-and-a-half years at Athletic Bilbao. But the Everton legend’s death was equally mourned in Bilbao because of the great impression he made on the club, fans and city. Quite simply, he loved Bilbao and Bilbao loved him.


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