Barcelona appoint former Real Betis coach Quique Setien after Valverde’s sack

Barcelona appoint former Real Betis coach Quique Setien after Valverde’s sack

Barcelona has appointed Quique Setien as their new coach; following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde and after failing to persuade their former player, Xavi Hernandez to take over.

Setien, the former Real Betis coach, is known for his attractive, attacking football with Barcelona; having grown tired of Valverde’s approach even though the club is again top of La Liga and won its Champions League group.

Setien, 61, led Betis to wins over Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid last season; but lost his job after a downturn in form.

However his exciting, attacking style of football is regarded as more in keeping with what Barcelona want; while the Spaniard’s ready availability means that the club felt able to make a change.

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Valverde’s dismissal is the first time that Barcelona has sacked a coach in the middle of a season; since Louis Van Gaal in 2003 when they were 20 points behind the league leaders and eventually finished sixth.

Even though Setien has got the job; Barcelona did first approach Xavi with the director of football Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau having flown to Qatar to try and persuade the feted former midfielder to take over.

Xavi is currently in his first coaching role with Qatari champions al-Sadd; and although they are struggling he does not want to leave right now.

Xavi has expressed a desire to one day become Barcelona coach and the club had discussed waiting until the end of the season to see if they could persuade him.

Barcelona had originally intended to see out the season with Valverde, whose contract runs out then; but following the 3-2 loss to Atleti in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia last Thursday the club decided to act.

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Mayowa Oladeji

A writer with a keen interest in human stories and topical issues around the world.

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