FC Barcelona broke up with coach Ernesto Valverde after the early bankruptcy in the Spanish Supercup. The reigning Spanish champions announced this on Monday evening several hours after a meeting between Valverde and club boss Josep Bartomeu. After the team's semi-final defeat against Atlético Madrid in the Supercup last week, the 55-year-old's kick-out had emerged. His successor is Quique Setién.
Valverde has been Barça's head coach since 2017. After the team returned from the Supercup in Saudi Arabia, he had carried out a training session on Monday morning. After his knee injury, Barça goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who missed the Supercup because of the injury, was also there for the first time. Valverde was called to Bartomeu at noon, and in the evening the board met for several hours before the separation was official.
The successor is the 61-year-old Setién, who previously was a professional at Atlético Madrid and had coached Betis Sevilla until 2019. He had actually retired since then. According to the association, he received a contract until June 30, 2022. On Tuesday he will be presented. Argentine Mauricio Pochettino was the main candidate. Lionel Messi's compatriot was released in November at the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.
Under Valverde, Barcelona won the championship twice in a row
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. it was said.
Although the Catalans had secured the unofficial autumn championship title in the Primera División ahead of archrival Real Madrid a few days ago thanks to the better goal difference, criticism of Valverde had grown louder and louder. The team around world footballer Messi and the German national goalkeeper ter Stegen only rarely appears confidently.
Barcelona had twice won the Spanish championship title under Valverde's leadership and in 2018 the Copa del Rey. The Azulgrana had last won the Champions League in 2015, however, when the team was coached by today's national coach Luis Enrique.
After the 2: 3 against Atlético Madrid in the Supercup semi-final in Jeddah, Messi had admitted: "We made childish mistakes." But he cleared his coach of all guilt. The Valverde was no longer useful.
. (tagsToTranslate) International football (t) FC Barcelona (t) Sport (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung