Barcelona have confirmed that Ernesto Valverde has been sacked, with Quique Setien replacing him as head coach.
Valverde, 55, had been under serious pressure at the Nou Camp after falling out with several senior players, most notably Arturo Vidal, and Barca’s defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final was the final straw.
Though the Catalan giants sit level on points with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga table, it was agreed that former Real Betis boss Setien should be the man to take the club forward. The 61-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal at Barcelona and will be officially unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. Late on Monday night, Barcelona sent their best wishes to Valverde after announcing that the Spaniard’s contract had been terminated.
‘Agreement between FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde for the termination of his contract as coach of the first team,’ an official club statement said. ‘Thanks for everything, Ernesto. Good luck in the future.’ Valverde oversaw training on Monday and met club president Josep Maria Bartomeu to discuss his future before the latter spoke with the board. Club director Javier Bordas, CEO Oscar Grau and director of football Eric Abidal were all present at that meeting where it was decided that Valverde would be relieved of his duties.
Valverde led Barcelona to two league titles, one Copa del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup, but his failures in the Champions League cast a shadow over his short tenure. Barca’s elimination at the hands of Liverpool last term was reminiscent of their collapse to Roma the previous season and Valverde received widespread criticism for failing to correct the problems that existed his side.
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