Barcelona's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde looks on before the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on November 9, 2019. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP)
Putting an end to the speculations about Ernesto Valverde’s future at Camp Nou, La Liga giants Barcelona on Monday sacked the manager and passed his post to former Real Betis coach Quique Setien.
The Spanish champions finally decided the time is right to make a change after days of frenzied speculation.
“FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde have reached an agreement to terminate the contract that united both parties,” said the club in a statement on Tuesday as quoted by IANS.
“FC Barcelona and Quique Setien have reached an agreement for the latter to become first team coach until 30 June 2022,” said another statement.
Valverde, who served as manager at Camp Nou for over two-and-a-half years, consisting 163 games, won several accolades for Barca, including La two Liga titles (2018, 2019) and the Copa del Rey.
In his last game for the club, Valverde saw his men losing 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semifinal on Thursday. Post the defeat, Barcelona approached Xavi with a view to taking over. However, Xavi turned his former club down, feeling the time was not yet right to return home, leaving Barcelona to turn to Setien instead.
Meanwhile, 61-year-old Setien comes to Barcelona after having had spells at Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas and Betis, his previous club in the 2018-19 season.
As a player, Setien was a midfielder who excelled with Racing Santander over 12 seasons in two separate spells. He also featured for Atletico Madrid where he won the Spanish Super Cup as well as enjoying spells at Logrones and Levante.