FC Barcelona have parted ways with their manager Ernesto Valverde after two-and-a-half seasons in charge. The Catalan club announced his departure and have also named his replacement by appointing former Real Betis head coach Quique Setien as the first-team coach until June 30, 2022.
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. pic.twitter.com/zrIgB1sW2e— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 13, 2020
Barcelona had been struggling for consistency this season under Ernesto Valverde. Despite sitting first in LaLiga, they have already lost thrice while also conceding 23 times in 19 games. After a disappointing draw against Espanyol in the Catalan derby, they crashed out of the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday night (Friday IST). Barcelona lost 2-3 to Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup semi-final in Jeddah. Despite playing a much better game, a collapse in the final minutes of the game proved catastrophic for the club and its manager.
Barcelona released a statement on Monday night (Tuesday IST) to announce their decision. The club expressed its gratitude to Ernesto Valverde for his professionalism and dedication to the club. Valverde took charge of the club for 163 games winning 108 games in the process. Barcelona won 2 LaLiga titles, 1 Copa del Rey and 1 Spanish Super Cup with Valverde at the helm.
Despite being closely linked to Xavi, Barcelona appointed Quique Setien as the new head coach of the club. The 61-year-old from Cantabria, Northern Spain was last the head coach of Real Betis until the end of the 2018/19 season. Real Betis excelled under Setien, finishing 6th in LaLiga in 2018 and 10th in 2019. The Seville-based club also reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey under Quique Setien.
Quique Setien will hold his first press conference as the head coach of Barcelona on January 14, 2020, 2:30 PM CET (7:00 PM IST).