News ID: 264334
Published: 0127 GMT January 14, 2020

New Barca boss Setien couldn't have imagined new job 'in wildest dreams'

New Barca boss Setien couldn't have imagined new job 'in wildest dreams'

Quique Setien said he could not imagine becoming Barcelona manager "in his wildest dreams."

Former Real Betis coach Setien, 61, was named Barca boss on Monday following Ernesto Valverde's sacking, BBC Sport reported.

Setien, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal, led Betis to its highest finish since 2005 and to the Copa del Rey semis before leaving in May.

"I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance," said the Spaniard at his first news conference.

"Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I have to thank the club. I'm excited about this challenge and this project."

He added, "Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I'm here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world."

After managing lower-league sides, Setien led Las Palmas to 11th in La Liga – its best finish for 40 years – and enjoyed further success at Betis, where in his first season he led the side to sixth place and qualification for the Europa League.

Betis also secured wins over Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid during his two-year tenure, and he left the club by mutual consent in the summer.

Barcelona is top of La Liga on goal difference and has won four of the last five league titles.

"I thank Ernesto Valverde for leaving me with a side that is top of the league," he said.

"My objective is to win everything! Everything you can win, this club has no other path to follow.

"Year after year, to win as many trophies as possible. I think the best way to victory is by playing good football. It doesn't always happen but it's not just about one day, it's about keeping it going."

Setien has previously stated he would cry when Barca and Argentina forward Lionel Messi retires.

"I said that about a lot of players," he said.

"I have enjoyed watching Barcelona for several years, watching them on television.

"To be able to manage the best in the world, and his teammates – he has great teammates – I have spoken to him and others.

"I have always said that the admiration is one thing but reality is different. Everyone needs to have their place. Messi is Messi, Busquets is Busquets."


Huge gamble


The appointment of Setien represents a huge gamble for the Catalans given the 61-year-old’s lack of success at the highest level.

While Valverde won two La Liga titles in two years and has the team top once again at the halfway point this season, Setien, apart from some success in Spain’s third tier in 2011, has no coaching honors to his name, Reuters reported.

The former Racing Santander and Atletico Madrid midfielder’s tactical nous was lost at the helm of Betis, with fans turning against him despite the attacking possession football he played, seeking more passion and less precision.

However, in a stylistic sense at least, Setien should fit in perfectly at Barcelona having been inspired by Johan Cruyff’s side while playing against the Blaugrana in the late 1980s.

“I remember when Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona came along,” Setien told The Coach’s Voice.

“From then on, I started to make sense of what I had felt throughout life, through my career.

“I started to really watch football. To analyze it. To understand what I felt, and what I wanted to put into practice when I became a coach.”

After the Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova era, Barcelona began to lose some of its swagger while still picking up trophies at an impressive rate.

Under Luis Enrique and then Valverde the focus shifted from teamwork to the individual, with elite players such as Messi and Luis Suarez becoming increasingly important.

Setien, a chess enthusiast who had often been linked with the Barcelona job in the past, must rearrange the pieces to give the Catalans their identity back.

As Valverde discovered, domestic silverware is not enough at Barcelona. Fans demand Champions League success as well as quality performances.

Setien delivered an example of what his sides are capable of last season when Betis beat Barcelona 4-3 at Camp Nou — the first team in two years to triumph there and also the last side to do so.

If that was the coach’s job interview, he passed.




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