FC Barcelona have separated from coach Ernesto Valverde. This was announced by the current Spanish football champions after a meeting between Valverde and club boss Josep Bartomeu. After the team's demise in the Spanish Supercup last week, there were initial rumors that the 55-year-old would be released.
His successor is the Spaniard Quique Setién, 61, who was a professional himself and had trained Real Betis until 2019. According to the association, Setién will receive a contract until June 30, 2022. It will be presented on Tuesday.
Valverde had been a Barça coach since 2017 and had won the championship title twice and the cup once with the team. After the team's return from the Supercup in Saudi Arabia, he had led a training session on Monday morning.
Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino was also considered a candidate. Lionel Messi's compatriot was released from the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in November. There has also been speculation in the past few days about the former Barcelona idol Xavi. The trainer from Al-Sadd Sports Club rejected the offer of an immediate change, according to media reports. The 39-year-old initially wanted to continue his current job in Qatar.
Although the Catalans had secured the fall championship in the Primera División before Real Madrid a few days ago thanks to the better goal difference, criticism of Valverde had grown louder. The team around world footballer Lionel Messi and the German national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen only rarely appears confidently.
After the 2: 3 against Atlético Madrid in the Super Cup semi-final in Jeddah, Messi said: "We made childish mistakes." However, the Argentine superstar did not share criticism of the coach.