Spanish champions Barcelona have sacked manager Ernesto Valverde and immediately appointed former Real Betis manager Quoque Setien.
Under the management of 55-year-old Valverde, Barcelona have won the Spanish La Liga back to back but have failed to reach the final of the champions League even when though looked poised to do so and along with a series of unconvincing displays, the administration at the Nou Camp had deemed it fit that a change of management was necessary.
65-year-old Setien helped Real Betis to their highest ever La Liga finish and also reached the semi-final of the Copa del Rey before leaving the club last May.
The club in a statement said they reached an agreement with Valverde to end his tenure at the club and appreciated him “for his professionalism, his commitment, his dedication and his always positive treatment towards all that make up the Barca family”.
The now former Barcelona boss came under heavy scrutiny after he lost over two season back to back in very similar manner in the championships league quarter finals and semi finals respectively. More so, he led the side to another loss in the Copa del Rey final against Valencia last year in what was the worst week for the club throughout the last decade.
Even though Barcelona top the La Liga table on goals difference, Valverde could never regain the modicum of confidence that the fans had in him prior to the two years of Champions League misfortunes.
Popular opinion was never really with the ex-Barcelona coach, his lack of pattern or tactics and overall lack of charisma that the Nou Camp was used to meant the fans only tolerated him but he wouldn’t have been anybody’s first choice save the Barca board of course.
Setien arrive Nou Camp highly rated having managed lower division side Las Palmas to promotion and finishing 11th in their first season, he went on to manage Betis and they finished 6th gaining qualification into the Europa League.
What’s noteworthy is that during his time at Betis, his team beat Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletico Madrid all members of the Spanish big three.
Former Catalan Xavi Hernandez was reportedly approached for the position but he refused the club’s offer having earlier confirmed there was indeed a meeting. Former Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino was among a list of other prospects but Setien landed the job.
Quique Setién will be the new manager of FC Barcelona. Welcome!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2020