Barcelona appoint Quique Setien after sacking Ernesto Valverde

FRANCESC ADELANTADOMARCA

Setien is far from a glamorous appointment to replace the increasingly unpopular Valverde.

Ever since that Anfield debacle, Valverde was on borrowed time in the Barca hotseat.

Setien delivered an example of what his sides are capable of last season when Betis beat Barcelona 4-3 at Camp Nou - the first team in two years to triumph there and also the last side to do so.

Setien, who has managed both Real Betis and Las Palmas, met the six-time Ballon d'Or victor for the first time a few years back when invited to training by Pep Guardiola.

Those victories meant he became the first manager to win away at both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the same season since 2003.

Quique Setien and former Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito are the other two names on Barcelona's shortlist. "And, with that, we want to win La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey".

"Quique Setien will be the new FC Barcelona coach".

Bartomeu said: "We all know Setien is a huge fan of Johan Cruyff's style and we share the same objectives". Qatari club Al-Sadd - where he now coaches - said the Spanish club was negotiating with the Spain great.

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In each of his two seasons as Barcelona gaffer, Ernesto Valverde won the Spanish La Liga title, but that did not prevent him from getting the axe as the club made up their plan on Sunday, January 12.

Nicknamed "El Maestro", midfielder Setien started out at hometown club Racing Santander in the 1970s before moving to capital giants Atletico Madrid, where he spent three years.

Setien's coaching career started with Racing, but he moved to fellow Segunda Division side Polideportivo Ejido and then he next became an global manager.

Griezmann gave a huge smile to the camera while Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi were seen sharing a joke ahead of Setien's first session as manager.

Barça have held preliminary talks with another former player, Xavi Hernández, who is now with Qatari club Al-Sadd, but he has reportedly said he is not interested in moving to Catalonia at the moment.

Barcelona are top of LaLiga on goal difference from Real Madrid, and through to the last 16 of the Champions League after topping their group, but some of their performances under Valverde have fallen short of the club's usually high standards.

"I have used that same philosophy wherever I have been, Look at my sides at Las Palmas and Betis, they played good football". The 61-year-old Setien has never coached at a big club and hasn't had much success as of late. It hasn't won the European competition since 2015.

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