Barcelona Sack Valverde, Appoint Quique Setien As New Manager
Barcelona have sacked Enersto Valverde as manager, and appointed Quique Setien as their new coach, after failing to persuade their former player, Xavi Hernandez, to take over.
Setien, a former Real Betis coach, is known for his attractive, attacking football, with Barcelona said to be tired of Valverde’s approach, though the club is sitting atop of La Liga, and won their Champions League group stage this season.
Setien, 61, led Betis to victories over Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid last season, but lost his job after a run of poor form.
However, his exciting, attacking style of football is regarded as what the Catalans want.
The Catalan giants confirmed Valverde’s sacking and Setien’s arrival on their official Twitter handle on Monday night.
“Agreement between FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde to end his contract as manager of the first team. Thank you for everything, Ernesto. Best of luck in the future.
“Quique Setién will be the new manager of FC Barcelona. Welcome!,” the club wrote on Twitter.
Valverde’s dismissal is the first time that Barcelona have sacked a coach in the middle of a season, since Louis Van Gaal in 2003, when they were 20 points behind the league leaders and eventually finished sixth.
Even though Setien had agreed with the club, the La Liga champions still approached Xavi, with director of football, Eric Abidal, and chief executive, Oscar Grau, flying to Qatar to try and persuade Xavi to take over, according to a report.
Xavi is currently in his first coaching role with Qatari champions, al-Sadd, and although they are struggling, he does not want to leave right now.
He has expressed his desire to become Barcelona’s coach one day, and the club had reportedly discussed waiting until the end of the season to see if they could persuade him.
They could have appointed a caretaker manager, or a coach in a short-term role, but it is understood that Setien has agreed a two and a half year deal.
Barcelona had originally intended to see out the season with Valverde, whose contract would run out then, but the club thought they have had enough, following the 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia last Thursday.