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Portuguese football legend Deco confirmed as Barcelona's new sporting director

Deco has been confirmed as Barcelona's new sporting director on a permanent basis at the Spanish club.

The former first-team midfielder joined the club from Porto in 2004, and had four enjoyable years in Barcelona before moving to Premier League side Chelsea. 

 Deco, 45, had been doing the sporting director's duties temporarily, but Barcelona confirmed his full-time appointment on Wednesday, honouring him with a three-year contract. 

A club statement said Deco would be 'setting FC Barcelona's sporting philosophy and putting together the squad with the coach and the coaching and becoming head of the football section'. 

Deco will be the sole director on the sporting direction of Barcelona, as they seek to retain the LaLiga title they won last season, while pushing for Champions League glory also. 

Deco brokered the £52m deal to take Raphinha from Leeds United to Barcelona last summer. 

Previous sporting director Jordi Cruyff left his consultancy role at the club at the end of last season after two years in the role, and now Alemany will also depart once the summer transfer window closes at the start of September. Deco and Alemany will continue to work together until that time. 

 During his playing days, he won the Champions League with Porto and Barcelona, two LaLiga titles with the Catalan giants, and a Premier League title with Chelsea among other honours.  

Deco played 161 games for Barcelona, scoring 20 goals and adding 45 assists during his time as one of the world's best midfielders, before leaving for England in 2008.  

After 15 years, he returns to the club in a role critical to Barcelona's future.  

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