Sports Barça out of Valverde and into the hands of...

Barça out of Valverde and into the hands of Quique Setién


Ernesto Valverde leaves Barça and will be replaced by Quique Setién after a day in the club's annals. The day was a bizarre end to an almost comical scene at the same hotel where Josep Maria Bartomeu could not sign Valverde's contract settlement, just meters from the room where he was negotiating the contract with the new coach, Quique Setién. The arrangements came at 11:15 pm. The new coach will be unveiled this afternoon, with a press conference at 2:30 PM. In fact, Setién will already be heading the morning training, at which point he will introduce himself to the players.

Shortly before eight o'clock in the evening, Bartomeu informed Valverde's agent Iñaki Ibáñez of the end of an announced death. But Ibáñez, who went by Bartomeu's car from Camp Nou to the hotel where he would negotiate, left without signing any paper: "I suppose we will reach an agreement tomorrow. He has been fired, or he will be fired, this is not a good time, "he explained. The deal, however, was closed an hour later, as Barça did not want to wait another day. It is destitution that leaves wounds, not so much because of changing techniques or ways.

Barça wanted to make a statement at 9pm, but the hours went by without agreement. And nerves seized a club that fired a mid-season coach for the first time in seventeen years. Although unlike the dismissal of Louis van Gaal in the 2002/03 season, Barça currently occupy the top spot in the league. Seventeen years ago, Radomir Antic, on the other hand, came to a team three points downhill. If then Barça were specialized in shooting foot shots, now it was three quarters, because announcing what you would do before signing the contracts only made your life more difficult because you could not easily reach an agreement with Valverde's representative over the farewell.

The coach raised in Vitoria leaves after winning two leagues, two Super Cups and a Copa del Rey. But he will always be remembered for the defeats of Rome and Liverpool, defeats in which his end was written. President Josep Maria Bartomeu and sports director Eric Abidal will explain the reasons for this move today, after deciding that the new coach would be the Cantabrian Quique Setién. A 61-year-old coach, romantic in his game proposal but with a resume in which the biggest club he has run is Betis. Before that he had worked in clubs such as Racing de Santander, Lugo, Las Palmas and Logroño. Setién will have a great opportunity, but also pressure to win. His representative, Edoardo Crnjar, came from Italy, where he lives, to close the contract, and met with Ibáñez, who was negotiating for Valverde's farewell papers. Both got Barça in trouble. Ibáñez to defend Valverde and Crnjar for more than six months offered by the club. And he succeeded, as the contract officially is until the season 2021/22, but with a nuance. At the end of each season the contract could be broken, starting this summer.

The sports area thinks Setién can lead the project now, but having given him a short contract he would have expressed doubts as to whether he was the ideal coach for a longer period of time. His name was defended at a board meeting by sports officials Eric Abidal and Ramón Planes. Betting on a six-month contract, the door was open to negotiate with Xavi Hernández or Ronald Koeman for next season. That is to say, the two technicians who these days, have refused to be in the place of Setién right now. But with that contract, Setién would be closing the door this summer for names like Xavi and Koeman. The manager has left with a contract until after the election of 2021, which moves Xavi away from the current directive.

The board meeting at which it was decided lasted more than four hours. A meeting in which it was clear that there were different points of view, as more than one manager proposed the subsidiary's manager, García Pimienta, or the Argentine Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino's past with Espanyol was key to dismissing the Tottenham manager, who equally would not have accepted. Some executives, in fact, were not happy with Bartomeu because of the way Valverde's farewell was handled, which saw everyone talking about his farewell when Barça had not informed him.

The day started when the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, met with Valverde at the Joan Gamper Sports City after the last training run by Valverde. The meeting was not to be dismissed but Bartomeu apologized for the ways Barça have negotiated with other coaches, such as Xavi and Koeman. And to warn him that within a few hours he should pack his bags.

In the past, the board had valued Valverde out on several occasions, but footballers had always saved him. However, after last Thursday's loss against Atletico, the players dropped the coach. Some came to call Xavi Hernández personally to ask him to be their new manager. Xavi, however, preferred to follow Qatar and not go down in history as the out-coach Valverde. A movie villain who will not occupy Setién, who will arrive to take the place of a coach destined to leave.

The board had lost trust in Valverde some time ago. This season Bartomeu was especially disappointed after the team's loose game against Real Madrid at home (0-0). Watching the Super Cup slip away, all parties agreed to take it out for a reaction before the key phase of the season. In the end the chosen one is Setién, who will be presented on the day when Bartomeu will have to defend the change. And especially justify the manner in which such an improvised relief was managed, which ended in nerves and an early morning statement.

. (tagsToTranslate) Barça (t) Guardiola (t) football (t) first division (t) league BBVA (t) minority sports (t) women's sport (t) athlete (t) Olympic Games


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