The rise from a retired coach to the new coach of FC barcelona within 24 hours came as a surprise even for quique setien himself.
"Yesterday i was walking past cows in my village, and today i’m here, with the best players in the world – it’s just the greatest thing," he said at his presentation in barcelona: "i couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams."
Most recently, setien had coached betis sevilla, but since summer 2019 actually enjoyed the coach retirement. The contract that the 61-year-old northern spaniard signed with the catalans has now been extended to 30 years. June 2022. And, fittingly for one of the most coveted coaches’ chairs in world soccer, setien immediately formulated his rough plans with the star ensemble around lionel messi at the venerable camp nou: "my goal is to win everything that can be won."
The championship in the past two seasons, the copa del rey and also the spanish supercup won barcelona under his vorganger. Nevertheless, valverde had to make way. On late monday evening, the club had announced the separation before the end of the contract after this season. For the first time since 2003 – when the dutchman louis van gaal was also fired in january – the club dismissed a coach in the middle of the season.
"It’s just half-time in the current season – and we wanted a change before the second half to give new impetus," said barca president josep maria bartomeu. FC barcelona is top of the league, and in the champions league it will play SSC napoli with former leipzig player diego demme in the eighth finals.
Setien not only wants to win it all, he has to. The club bosses took no small risk. "Barca chooses the abyss", wrote the madrid newspaper "el pais". However, it was mainly the capital’s media that criticized the change of coach at the arch-rivals. "The sleeping pill is leaving, the new guardiola is coming", on the other hand, was the opinion of "mundo deportivo". In an online survey conducted by the newspaper, around 80 percent of almost 40 candidates rated.000 participants the change as good.
Nevertheless, setien was probably not the 1a-wishful choice. Candidates like the former barca legends xavi or thierry henry could not and would not, messi compatriot mauricio pochettino was also not to get.
All the more barcelona praised the now acquired. The coach from santander, whose burgher name is enrique setien solar, is praised by his new employer as one of the "most experienced" coaches in spanish football. Setien is an advocate of attack-oriented possession football, in the interests of the fans.
In his hometown he is considered a legend. At racing santander he was active for a long time as a professional and since 2002 as a coach. His nickname there: "el maestro". Other stops included UD las palmas and most recently sevilla. His record in the first division: 60 wins, 60 defeats, 53 draws. He also played for atletico madrid in the 1980s. He becomes the 60. Coach in the history of FC barcelona be.
Vorganger valverde bids farewell in an open letter on the club’s homepage. "It’s been two and a half very intense seasons right from the start," wrote the 55-year-old. He had celebrated victories and titles with FC barcelona, but had also gone through difficult moments. The two-time failure in the champions league weighed heavily on them. "Barcelona is a special place where winning the league is not enough. I feel very sorry for valverde, he doesn’t deserve this," commented the former success coach of the catalans, pep guardiola.
Allegedly, after the 2:2 at the beginning of the year in the city derby against espanyol, there was a lot of tension in president bartomeu’s mind. He suspected: so it will again nothing with the champions league, which the blaugrana had last won in 2015. The 2:3 and thus the exit in the spanish supercup last thursday against atletico madrid then forced the trainer rauschmiss.