Barcelona New Manager: Everything you need to know about Quique Setien, the man who replaced Ernesto Valverde at the Camp Nou.
Following the defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Spanish Copa, Barcelona took the decision to relive Ernesto Valverde from his position as Barcelona manager and replace him with the only man who managed to beat him at the Camp Nou during his time as the Blaugrana boss; Quique Setien.
While Barcelona’s record may seem unbelievable under Valverde, especially considering that he won them two consecutive La Liga’s and are currently on top of the table, his failings in Europe ultimately cost him his job.
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. pic.twitter.com/zrIgB1sW2e
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2020
Xavi and Ronald Koemen were reportedly offered the job. However, with their refusal, the Catalan club turned their sights on former Real Betis coach and the Spaniard accepted, signing a deal until the end of the 2022 season.
Quique Setién will be the new manager of FC Barcelona. Welcome!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2020
Everything you need to know about Barcelona’s new manager Quique Setien
Like most managers, Quique Setien started his career as a footballer. He made his La Liga debut in 1977 with his hometown club Racing De Santander. He plied his trade at the club until 1985 before moving on to Atletico Madrid for 3 seasons.
Setien enjoyed 2 good seasons at the Spanish Capital. However, a spat with the club Chairman saw him struggle for game time in his last. He then moved to CD Logrones until 1992 and helped them stay in the Spanish top-flight before moving back to Racing where he scored a career-best 11 goals in the first year in his second spell.
Setien called time on his playing career after helping Levante to a promotion from the third division. He was part of Spain’s 1986 World Cup squad, although, he did not play a single match in the tournament. In all, he made 613 club and 3 international appearances.
As a player, he played against Barcelona, 22 times and scored twice. In 2019, Setien spoke of the time he faced Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona. He said:
“You played against them, and you spent the whole match running after the ball. I said to myself: ‘This is what I like. I would like to be in this team, and know why this is happening.’
“How can you get a team to have the ball permanently, so that the opponent is running after it for the whole match?
“From then on, I started to make sense of what I had felt throughout life, through my career.
“I started to really watch football. To analyse it. To understand what I felt, and what I wanted to put into practice when I became a coach.”
Quique Setien as a manager
As a manager Quique Setien faced Barcelona 7 times. He lost 6 of those matches. The only match he won was at Ernesto Valverde’s only defeat at the Camp Nou across all competitions as Barcelona manager. He also plays chess and has played against former World Champions Anatoli Karpov and Gary Kasparov. He uses chess tactics in his football and says that chess has helped him with patience, capacity for analysis and emotional control.
Setien began his life as a manager with Racing before moving to Poli Ejido. He also managed the Equatorial Guinea national side before moving back to Spanish football with Logrones. The Spaniard took the reins at Lugo from 2009 to 2015 before making it to the La Liga with Las Palmas in 2015.
He rescued his side from relegation in the first season and almost took them to European qualifications in his second. However, the club faltered in the closing stages. Following disputes with the board, Setien left the side and was promptly announced as Real Betis’ manager the next week.
In his first season, he took Betis back to European competition with a 6th place finish. They also humiliated rivals Sevilla with a 5-3 win. The next season, Betis looked set to improve on their last showing, having reached the Copa Del Rey semi-finals and a top 4 finish looking very likely.
Unfortunately, he lost to Valencia in the Copa Del Rey and got eliminated by Rennes in the Europa. This derailed their run in the league and they eventually finished mid-table. However, their performance prior to this was so spectacular, that the Spaniard was being linked with the job in January last year.
Nothing came off it then and he would eventually part ways with Real Betis in the summer despite still having a year left in his contract. A year later though, he now has the job to re-establish the Blaugrana as European Titans.
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