Finally, Barca dismiss Valverde, name new manager

Spanish giant, FC Barcelona have announced parting ways with coach Ernesto Valverde, ending his contract as manager of the first team, and naming a new manager.

Valverde is leaving FC Barcelona after having been in charge of the team for two and a half seasons.

The club publicly expressed gratitude to the Spanish coach for his professionalism, his commitment, and his dedication.

Valverde was coach of Barca first team for 163 official games, winning 108 (66.25%), 35 draws (21.47%) and 20 defeats (12.26%).

During that time, he claimed four trophies as coach: two La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup.

His spell as coach began in the summer of 2017 when he took over at the club following four seasons with Athletic Club de Bilbao.

After losing out to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup in his debut as manager, he ended the season claiming a league and cup double, beating Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final in the Wanda Metropolitano whilst in the Champions League they lost out to Roma in the quarter finals.

His second season at FC Barcelona began with victory in the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla in Tangier, Morocco.

The blaugranes also retained their league title, clinching the league at Camp Nou against Levante.

The end of the campaign brought moments of disappointment with Barça losing in the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool and in the final of the Copa del Rey against Valencia.

In 2019/20 Barça ended the first half of the campaign as league leaders – level on points with Real Madrid – and with a place assured in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Last week the team were knocked out of the revamped Spanish Super Cup in the semi-finals against Atlético Madrid, prompting the club to rethink his position.

Meanwhile, following the dismissal of Valverde, Barca quickly named Quique Setién as replacement, after having reached an agreement for the latter to become first team coach until 30 June 2022.

Setién signed his contract on Monday at 1.30pm CET in the President Suñol box in a private event, followed by a photo session at 2.00pm on the pitch at Camp Nou.

The new coach is 61 year old, and he is from Cantabria in the north of Spain, coming to Barcelona after having spells at Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Logroñés, Lugo, Las Palmas and Betis, his previous club in the 2018/19 season.

Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans.

As a player Setién was a midfielder who excelled with Racing Santander over 12 seasons in two separate spells.

He also featured for Atlético Madrid where he won the Spanish Super Cup as well as enjoying spells at Logroñés and Levante.

According to FC Barcelona, Setién is one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish Football.

The coach from Santander started his managerial career at his home town club of Racing Santander, helping them to promotion to the Spanish top flight in 2002.

After a spell out of the game, Setién returned to take over at Logroñés, a club he had represented as a player in the first division of Spanish Football, but he was unable to avoid relegation to the Third Division.

Barça’s new coach then moved on to Galician club Lugo and he gained promotion to the Second Division A in 2012.

After a total of six seasons with Lugo, he joined first division side Las Palmas where he stayed for two campaigns.

In 2017 he signed for Andalusian club Betis where he guided them to sixth place in the league and place in the Europa League in his first season in charge.

Setién’s second campaign with the Seville based club saw him take the team to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey before departing in the summer of 2019.

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