FC Barcelona broke up with coach Ernesto Valverde after the semi-final in the Spanish Supercup. The reigning Spanish champions announced this several hours after a meeting between Valverde and club boss Josep Bartomeu. There has been much speculation about the coach's dismissal since the lost Supercup game against Atlético Madrid. Quique Setien, who had coached Betis Sevilla until 2019, is to be the successor.
Valverde has been chief coach of the Catalan association since 2017. Between 1988 and 1990 he played as a striker for Barcelona, since 2003 he has coached several teams in Spain's first division. With the FC Barcelona he was twice Spanish champion, but failed to win the Champions League. This season, there has been criticism of his team appearing more often in an unstable manner. Successor Setién received a contract until the end of the 2021/22 season, according to the club, and will be presented on Tuesday.
Several personalities had previously been traded as candidates for Valverde's successor, including Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, who had worked for the English club Tottenham Hotspur until November. There was also speculation about the Barcelona legend Xavi. The former midfield star of the club has been training the Qatari club Al-Sadd for a year and plans to stay with the club for the time being.