Quique Setien admits taking Barcelona job is beyond his ‘wildest dreams’

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‘Yesterday, I was walking around my hometown with COWS… now I’m here at Barcelona’: Quique Setien admits taking Nou Camp hot-seat is beyond his ‘wildest dreams’ as he looks to secure third successive LaLiga title

  • Quique Setien was introduced to the media as Barcelona’s new manager
  • The former Real Betis manager has come in to replace axed Ernesto Valverde
  • He joked that he was surrounded by cows on Monday before he took the job 

Quique Setien admitted that he was in his hometown ‘walking with cows’ before the call came offering him the Barcelona job on Monday.  

The 61-year-old took training on Tuesday morning before signing a contract until June 2022. 

Speaking to the media after signing his contract, Setien said: ‘Yesterday, I was walking around my hometown with cows around me and now I’m here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world. 

Quique Setien was presented to the media for the first time as Barcelona's new manager

Quique Setien was presented to the media for the first time as Barcelona’s new manager

Setien spoke alongside president Josep Bartomeu (left) and sports director Eric Abidal (right)

Setien spoke alongside president Josep Bartomeu (left) and sports director Eric Abidal (right)

Setien revealed he had been walking in his hometown surrounded by cows just 24 hours ago

Setien revealed he had been walking in his hometown surrounded by cows just 24 hours ago

‘I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance. 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. That is the biggest thing I have to transmit to the players. I have to show the players that and normally it’s not very complicated for me to transmit that.’ 

Valverde was dismissed despite Barcelona being top of LaLiga and in the last-16 of the Champions League. 

Barcelona are still competing on three fronts and given the upheaval of changing manager mid season, the former Real Betis boss is determined to ‘try and win everything’. 

The former Real Betis coach is determined to 'try and win everything' for the rest of this season

The former Real Betis coach is determined to ‘try and win everything’ for the rest of this season

The three men discussed predecessor Ernesto Valverde and why the change was made now

The three men discussed predecessor Ernesto Valverde and why the change was made now

‘My objective is to win everything! Everything you can win,’ he said. 

‘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 paid special thanks to his predecessor for leaving such a quality side for him to inherit but questions on Valverde’s dismissal were aimed at president Josep Bartomeu.  

When asked why the decision was made to ditch Valverde mis-season, Bartomeu said: ‘The dynamic in the team could be improved, we are in the next round of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey is getting started and we felt it was a dynamic we could improve. 

‘We spoke about this many times with Valverde, very openly with him and we have always been very close to Ernesto Valverde with a good relationship and have always spoken about what could be improved.’ 

Bartomeu felt the 'dynamic of the team' could be improved by a change in the management

Bartomeu felt the ‘dynamic of the team’ could be improved by a change in the management

Bartomeu did admit they had talked to other candidates but he refused to elaborate on those who turned the position down. 

Former midfielder Xavi Hernandez was among those reported to have rejected the chance to replace Valverde. 

‘I’m not going to just talk about Xavi,’ Abidal said. ‘When it comes to making decisions, the board knows that answers are needed. 

‘Every manager is different. Setien is here because we like his way of working and his style. We have full confidence in the coach and the staff.’ 

In Valverde’s first season with Barcelona, the club were one game away from going an entire LaLiga season unbeaten. The one man to beat them: Quique Setien with Real Betis. 

Setien shared words with Lionel Messi on the pitch after that match and he will now manage the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. 

‘To be able to manage the best in the world, and his team-mates – he has great team-mates – I have always spoken to him and others,’ the club’s new boss said. 

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

The 61-year-old is convinced he knows what Barcelona needs having analysed them closely

The 61-year-old is convinced he knows what Barcelona needs having analysed them closely

Setien wasted no time in passing on his expectations and principles to the squad as he took training ahead of his formal presentation to the media. 

Players were all smiles as they emerged and Setien is unwilling to compromise his beliefs even if he is unsure ‘if my way is the best’ for this group.  

‘Every time a new manager comes in, there is a stimulus for everyone inside the dressing room,’ he added. 

‘You notice it immediately. This stimulus that we saw in the session today, we need to maintain that and I have never met a coach who is the same. 

‘We all have our own caveats… I don’t know if my way is the best but it’s my way. I am very clear as to what Barcelona needs. I’ve seen this from outside, we’ve watched them and analysed them. There are a lot of things we are very clear about and we will try to transmit that.’

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