It's official. Coach Ernesto Valverde was thanked by FC Barcelona on Monday evening and will be replaced by "Quique" Setien. The blaugrana club issued a press release via Twitter and will hold a press conference on Tuesday to introduce their new coach.
The situation could not last: disavowed by the fans and internally, Valverde, already on the hot seat in the hollow of autumn, paid dearly for the defeat of Barça in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup against Atlético Madrid (3-2) Thursday in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), his last match spent on the Catalan bench.
The club and the technician "reached an agreement to end the contract between them", said Barça Monday evening, adding in a separate statement to have "found an agreement" with Quique Setien "until 30 June 2022 ”.
The blaugranas leaders, gathered all afternoon this Monday at Camp Nou to decide the future of Valverde, decided to entrust the keys of the team to this ex-midfielder from Atlético Madrid (3 selections in Spanish team in 1985-1986) who notably trained Las Palmas and Betis Seville.
He will sign his contract on Tuesday and will be presented to the press at 13.30 GMT at Camp Nou. He will be on the bench on Sunday at Camp Nou for the reception of Granada, his first match at Barça.
Valverde pays the addition of chess in LDC
After a nightmarish week, Ernesto Valverde (55) arrived three hours before the start of Barça training (scheduled for 11 a.m.) in the facilities of the Joan Gamper sports center, the club's training center, which he left by car around 2 p.m., Spanish sports press reported.
Shaken by disappointments in the Champions League (Roma in 2018, Liverpool in 2019), criticized by supporters for the lack of brilliance of his game, dropped by his leaders, who went to meet the ex-Catalan legend Xavi in Doha ( Qatar) to offer him his job, Valverde has seen his situation weaken in recent days.
Xavi (39), current coach of the Qatari club Al-Sadd, refused to train his heart club for the time being, but the Barcelona leaders have continued to probe several technicians to replace Valverde, according to the Iberian press. According to the Spanish specialist press, unanimous Monday evening, Barça finally decided to entrust the keys of the first team to the former coach of Betis Seville (2017-2019), Enrique "Quique" Setien (61).
In addition to the failure in the Supercup and the delays in the future of its coach, Barça suffered another blow on Sunday: the Catalan club lost its star striker Luis Suarez for four months after a right knee operation.