Madrid (AFP)

Lithuanian coach and European basketball legend Sarunas Jasikevicius (44) will be the new FC Barcelona coach for the next three seasons, the Catalan club said on Thursday.

"Sarunas Jasikevicius will be Barça's coach for the next three seasons. The 44-year-old Lithuanian club and technician have reached an agreement until June 30, 2023, and Jasikevicius therefore returns to what was his home for four seasons" as a player, said Barça.

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after their defeat in the final of the final phase of the Spanish Championship against Baskonia (69-67), Barça announced the departure of their Serbian coach Svetislav Pesic (70), a year before the end of his contract.

"Before starting the ACB finals in Valencia, we agreed with the club that this would be my last season as team coach, because I had finished my mission. The moment has come to make way for another coach, "Pesic said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Lithuanian technician therefore leaves the Zalgiris Kaunas, a club he has coached since 2016 (after having spent two years as an assistant there, just after his retirement from playing in 2014) and with whom he has won five championships (LKL League) and three cups national.

As a Barça player, Jasikevicius won a Euroleague (2003), two national championships (2001, 2003) and three King's Cups (2001, 2003 and 2013), in two runs: he first played there between 2000 and 2003 under the orders notably of Svetislav Pesic, already, then in 2012-2013 with Xavi Pascual as trainer.

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