La Liga Champions Barcelona on Tuesday announced the sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde, following a board meeting at Camp Nou that lasted for over four hours. Valverde became the first manager to be sacked by Barca mid-season since Louis van Gaal in 2003. The club named Spanish manager Quique Setien as his replacement. “Barcelona and Quique Setien have reached an agreement for the latter to become first team coach until 30 June 2022,” the club said. “Setien is one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football. Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans,” the statement added.
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Who is Quique Setien? Here is everything you need to know about Barcelona’s new manager:
Setien is a former Spanish midfielder, who is regarded as a legend for Segunda division Spanish club Racing Santander. He spent 12 years at the club during between 1977-1985, and was nicknamed “El Maestro”. After departing from Racing, Setien made 73 appearances for Atletico Madrid between 1985-1988. He then made 114 more appearances for Spanish club CD Logrones (now defunct) between 1988-1992. He returned to Racing for four more years where he made 124 appearances between 1992-1996. He did a short stint with Levante in 1996 after which he announced his retirement from professional football. In his playing days, Setien also made thee appearances for Spain’s international team between 1985-1986.
As many expected, Setien’s managerial career began with Racing, in 2000-01 season. He coached the team till 2002. Later, he did short managerial stints with club Poli Ejido (2003) and Equatorial Guinea’s national team (2006), before he returned to his former club Logrones in 2007. He coached Lugo for five years between 2009 and 2015. Under his guidance, Lugo was promoted to Segunda B Divison, which was the highlight of his stint with the club.
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In October 2015, he became the manager of La Liga club Las Palmas, who were in the relegation zone at the time. He eventually led his side to 11th place finish in the season, and then had the club competing for a European finish in the next season. Palmas missed out on the European spot, eventually finishing in 14th place. But by the time, Setien had received praise for his possession-based style of football, and he was offered the chance to coach Real Betis in 2017.
Under Setien’s leadership, Betis finished in the 6th position in 2017-18 season, and secure qualification to Europa League. In November 2018, Setien’s Betis defeated Barcelona 4-3 at Nou Camp, which remains Blaugrana’s last home defeat till now. He left Betis in 2019, despite having one more year left on his contract, after Betis finished 10th place in La Liga.
Setien is a huge fan of Barcelona legendary player and manager Johan Cryuff, and is influenced by his style of play. In an interview to The Coaches Voice in 2019, the Spanish manager said: “I remember when Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona came along. 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’.”
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He believes in playing possession-based football and usually favours 4-2-3-1 formation. He is also an avid chess fan, according to Goal.com and has played games against chess world champions Anatoli Karpov and Gary Kasparov. He also believes that some of the principles of chess can be applied to footabll, a Goal.com report says.