"It makes you a soccer player, don't run after him." These words of Quique Setién in an interview in EL PAÍS define the football philosophy that presides over the mind of this Cantabrian coach who at 61 faces the greatest challenge of his sports career: training Barcelona. Only a few months ago, while Betis and Barcelona managed to sign Junior, executives of the Catalan club told the Verdiblancos that Quique was one of the coaches they had in mind for their bench. It was precisely at Betis, a club he directed from 2017 to 2019, where Setién's style offered his best football results. And that the main thing for the technician is not the result itself. What makes him enjoy as a coach is to play well. “When I saw Cruyff play Barcelona I saw what I felt,” he confessed to this newspaper. A football of touch and possession that has already attracted attention in Lugo, a club he promoted to Second Division, and then in Las Palmas.
The Betis executives were caught with Setién in a Cup qualifier in which the Andalusian team eliminated Lugo in the one-game penalties at Benito Villamarín. In Lugo it is a reference. He took the team to Second A in 2013 and maintained three courses without stress in the silver category, where he was known as the Barcelona of the category for his game of possession and touch. Las Palmas arrived in 2015 on the ninth day replacing Paco Herrera and kept the Canary team solvent and revaluing players such as Roque Mesa, Vicente Gomez, Jonathan Viera and Tana. The best came in his second year, when the Canarian team was close to fighting for a European position, although in the end he could not achieve it, leaving the club after some disagreement with the presidency. In Gran Canaria he is considered the best coach in the recent history of the Sports Union.
Setién landed at Betis in the summer of 2017. He quickly took over the costumes, putting Joaquin on his side and making the players enjoy their training. The sides and ends were amazed when Quique told them that there was no need to always focus on the area if there was no chance of auction. It was better to start and play back, spinning an infinite background that gave Betis a unique personality in his game. Setién's style, however, did not succeed at first. It was difficult for Betis to achieve good results, which did not come until a second round in which the team shot up to reach sixth place and achieve an unexpected European classification. Betis returned to Europe five years later and his players enjoyed a coach who, despite everything, found it difficult to connect with the Andalusian stand. "Setién has made me prolong my sports career," said Joaquin, one of the players who missed the coach's absence at the beginning of this course. The Betis of Joaquín, Guardado, Bartra, Canales, Tello, Fabián and Mandi shot up to levels that were not expected, with a 3-5 in the derby in the Sevilla field that altered the heart of the Betics. From the hand of Setién prospered Fabian, sold by Betis to Naples for 30 million euros. Also canteranos like Francis, Junior (18 million to Barcelona) and Loren, seated in the first establishment.
European Betis grew with the arrival of soccer players like Lo Celso or William Carvalho. The style remained the same, possession, touch and ball, to end up drawing memorable matches like 3-4 in the Camp Nou against Barcelona or 1-2 against Milan in the Europa League. Betis was like a shot, reaching the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, where he was eliminated by Valencia after winning 2-0 to the rest of the first leg in Villamarín.
However, this good Betis de Setién accused the fatigue of playing three competitions. He fell eliminated in the first round of qualifiers in the Europa League against Rennes and the Sevillian team could only be tenth. The bad relations of Setién with Lorenzo Serra, the sports director, an idol for the fans, ended up ballasting his image before a step with which he could not get along. Setién had more than one dispute with the fans, who sang the “Quique ve ya ya” on several occasions. Although the managers of Betis wanted to keep it, the atmosphere became irrespirable. “I should have empathized a little more with the fans of Betis. That point in the irrationality of a Betis follower collides with an uncle from the north who is always looking for arguments. There is a disagreement that overcomes football issues. I will try to improve this in the future, ”said Setién at his farewell to Betis. Throughout the first round of this League, his name had been chosen in case of Rubi's dismissal, which had a very irregular start. He would have returned to Betis in a second stage. On October 30, Fekir scored in the discount against Celta and the Verdiblanco team won, which frustrated Setién's return.
In the Andalusian club, Setién led a total of 94 games, with a balance of 39 wins, 22 draws and 33 losses. He put Betis in Europe after five years, took him to a Cup semifinal 14 courses later, multiplied the value of the squad and boosted the quarry. In addition, he accumulated historical triumphs with Betis: he won for the first time in history in the same course in his stadium at Barcelona and Madrid; he defeated Madrid twice in a row at the Bernabéu for the first time also in the history of Betis; He was the first Betic coach who defeated Atlético de Simeone; he won Sevilla at Villamarín 12 years later, at Camp Nou after another 20 and was the only coach to win the three LaLiga greats in the last five years.
Quique was a footballer of Racing, Atlético de Madrid, Logroñés and Levante. He also played three games with Spain and was summoned for the 86th World Cup, although he didn't play a minute. As coach, Setién has directed Racing, Poli Ejido, Logroñés, Lugo, Las Palmas and Betis.
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