Barcelona Sack Ernesto Valverde & Appoint Quique Setien as New Manager
Barcelona have sacked manager Ernesto Valverde a few months before the end of his contract and appointed former Real Betis coach Quique Setien as the new head coach until June 2022.
With disappointing results and the lack of a signature playing style (finally) too much to bear, the last straw for the Catalan club’s board regarding Valverde’s tenure was last week’s Supercopa de España semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid, where they let a 2-1 lead slip in the final ten minutes. The result was far from a disaster in isolation, but it capped a run of just one win in five games for an already under-fire manager.
While club legends Xavi Hernandez and Ronald Koeman, as well as Champions League finalist Mauricio Pochettino, were all mooted targets to replace Valverde, unattached 61-year-old Setien was identified as a frontrunner for the short-term, as reports emerged on Monday that his agent had flown to Barcelona to discuss terms.
Last seen at Betis before being sacked last May, Setien – a notoriously attacking coach – will be tasked with restoring some panache to Barcelona’s play as they chase success in La Liga, the Copa del Rey and, perhaps most importantly, the Champions League.