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What can Barcelona expect from Quique Setien?

The coach has replaced Ernesto Valverde at the Camp Nou

SD Eibar v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona have announced that Quique Setien is their new manager and has been handed a contract at the club until June 2022.

The 61-year-old replaces Ernesto Valverde at the helm after days of speculation and will offer a very different approach to his predecessor.

Setien wants his players happy, expressing themselves and most importantly of all, in possession of the ball.

Indeed the new boss will be expected to restore the quick-passing, high-pressing style of play the club has enjoyed so much success with and seems to have been forgotten about under Valverde.

Setien is without doubt a football purist and has made no secret of his admiration for Johan Cruff and the impact the Dutchman’s style of football has had on him throughout his career.

Setien is also good value for a great quote or too. Here’s what he had to say about Xavi and Lionel Messi on the Que t’hi jugues! programme back in May 2019.

“When a player like Xavi retires, it’s as if they remove a kidney. And the day that Messi retires, I will cry forever.”

And then again about Messi in an interview with El Pais:

“One day, invited by Guardiola, I had the opportunity to watch Messi train from the side of the pitch. I went up to him and I asked him to keep playing until I was 60 years old, at least until I die.”

Setien’s managerial career has been pretty varied but is well regarded. He spent plenty of time in the lower leagues before leading Las Palmas to 11th place in La Liga in what was their best finish in 40 years.

They played some pretty tasty stuff along the way too:

Setien them moved on to Real Betis and made it clear how he was going to play right from the get-go.

More success followed as he oversaw a sixth-placed finish and qualification for the Europa League. He also beat Barcelona 4-3 at the Camp Nou during his time at the club.

That dramatic win had an impact on Sergio Busquets who handed Setien a signed shirt after the match with the message: “To Quique, with appreciation and admiration for your way of seeing football. A hug”.

It’s also worth mentioning that Junior Firpo scored for Betis in that match and was brought into the first team by Setien. He described Barca as having made an “excellent deal” when they signed the left-back in August and will now link up with the youngster again.

Setien’s values mean it’s no surprise to see the Spanish champions go for him, particularly after becoming bored to tears by Ernesto Valverde, and his job now will be to get Barca playing like Barca again.

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