The Washington Spirit announced that FC Barcelona Femení’s Jonatan Giráldez Costas will join as the club’s new head coach.
This move is part of fulfilling the club’s vision to build the most preeminent sports organization with a high-performance culture of winning. Giráldez brings a proven track record of winning at every level of the women’s game.
“We conducted an extensive global, data-driven search and found that Jona is the best choice to lead our players. His commitment to excellence and high performance is second to none, and the results speak for themselves, including consecutive La Liga and Supercopa titles and multiple top coach honors,” said Owner Michele Kang.
“We are grateful for his decision to join us. He will help take the Spirit to the next level for both players and fans.”
Giráldez got his start with the youth sections of the Catalonia women’s regional football team, eventually becoming the men’s soccer head coach of the U12 team and the women’s assistant coach for the U16 and U18 teams. Giráldez joined FC Barcelona Femení in 2019, where he started as an assistant coach, helping the team to win its first UEFA Champions League after a great 2020-21 season. Following that, he was appointed head coach for the 2021-2022 season.
As a head coach, Giráldez has achieved unprecedented results, including one Queen’s Cup, two Supercopas, two Primera División titles, the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League title, and a perfect record 50-game winning streak in Spanish league play. He was named IFFHS Women’s World’s Best Club Coach in 2023 and is currently one of three nominees for the best FIFA women’s coach of 2023.
“Jona’s combined experience in the developmental youth sections and at the highest level of professional play make him the ideal head coach to help us achieve our vision,” said Spirit President of Soccer Operations Mark Krikorian.
“Jona knows how to develop players into champions. He will bring a beautiful style of play to the Spirit that we know our fans will enjoy.”
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the team and become part of the Washington Spirit family. It’s a great honor and a greater responsibility to help bring the club to the next level, so I will dedicate my heart and soul to making everyone around the team proud and part of something great,” said Giráldez.
“I really want to thank Michele and Mark for the opportunity my family and myself have been given. I will be looking forward to meeting the staff, players, and fans in DC soon.”
In addition to his impressive coaching credentials, Giráldez brings extensive academic training to the Spirit.
He holds the UEFA Pro Coaching license, a degree in Sports Science from the Universidad de Barcelona, and three different master’s degrees in high performance, collective sports, and soccer.
Giráldez will join the Spirit in Washington, DC, at the conclusion of the FC Barcelona Femení season.
An interim head coach will be named shortly.
Photo: Washington Spirit