Barcelona sack Valverde, becomes first to be axed in 17 years

Barcelona have announced the dismissal of head coach Ernesto Valverde, as he becomes the first coach to be sacked by the club in 17 years.

The last coach to receive his marching orders was Louis van Gaal in 2003. Van Gaal’s Barça were 20 points off the top of the table when Joan Gaspart sacked him.

Radomir Antic took over from Van Gaal and since then, and up until now, every Barça coach has left at the end of their contract. Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Martino (brought in as cover for Tito Vilanova) and Luis Enrique. The situation was not as drastic as it was when Van Gaal was ousted, but that’s the way things are at Barça with Bartomeu.

Finally taking the decision to part ways with Basque boss on Monday, an official statement from Barca reads:

“Agreement between FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde to end his contract as manager of the first team. Thank you for everything, Ernesto. Best of luck in the future.”

Former Real Betis boss Quique Setien, 61, has been announced as the new Barcelona coach, taking charge of the Spanish champions on that deal that runs until 2022.

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He is a well-known fan of the Johan Cruyff-inspired Barca brand of football – as mentioned in the club’s press release regarding their new boss:

“Quique Setien will be the new FC Barcelona coach. The man from Cantabria in the north of Spain comes to Barca after having had spells at Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas and Betis, his previous club in the 2018/19 season.

“Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession-based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans.”

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