Things you need to know about Barcelona new coach Quique Setien
The Cantabrian coach replaced Valverde as the new Barcelona team coach, late on Monday evening, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal contract with Blaugrana until the summer of 2022. However, there is a clause in the deal allowing either Barcelona or Setien himself to terminate it at the end of the current season.
Apparently, Setien has many untold stories in his life, which makes his presence in Barcelona even more interesting. That’s why we want to take a look at the beach football player, the chess lover, and the Messi admirer life in this article today.
Here is all you need to know about the new manager at the Camp Nou
Becoming a footballer
The new Barcelona manager, started his playing career with hometown club Racing Santander, but how about before that? According to Fc Barcelona, Setien has started playing in beach football, a sport in which he got to play with the national team.
Setien started kicking the ball for Racing Santander as a central midfielder in his youth. There he was nicknamed ‘El Maestro’, due to his good ball control in the center of the field. This is what earned him a move to Atletico Madrid in 1985.
He went on kicking the ball for Atletico for three years where he enjoyed a good first two seasons, but things changed after that and eventually, Setien left the club in 1988 to move to Logrones where, after a slow start, he was essential in helping the Riojans retain their top-flight status. He went back to Santander in 1992 where he continued playing for 4 more years, before moving to Levante as his last team where he kicked the ball just for one year. On an international scale, Setien appeared three times for Spain and was selected for the 1986 FIFA World Cup squad, but did not leave the bench during the tournament in Mexico.
Facing Barcelona as a player
The new Barcelona manager has faced the club, both as a player and manager before. In fact, as a player, he has faced the club for 22 times, with a record of 5 wins, 5 draws and 12 losses. He also has scored twice against the team. Once in a Barca vs Logrones fixture in 1990/91 league season and then in the 1994/95 Racing vs Barca league match.
Start of the coaching career
Setien started his managerial career in 2001 by coaching Racing Santander for one year and went on managing Poli Ejido, Equatorial Guinea, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas, and Betis. It was in Betis where he led the team to the sixth place in his first year, with the subsequent qualification to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League
It may be interesting to know that Setien is the third Cantabrian coach in Barcelona’s history, after Enrique Orizaola and Laureano Ruiz.
Admiration for Cruyff
We assume one of the main reasons for Setien to be chosen for Barca managing is his respect and admiration for Cruyff.
As he claims himself, Cruyff’s style of playing was what led him to analyze football a little deeper and develop a ball-oriented style of play as a coach.
Obviously, Setien has an interest in 3-4-2-1 and 4-3-3 formation as he used these two while managing Real Betis. Now we assume he will continue doing so in the Camp Nou.
Facing Barca as a coach
While the 61-year-old has had faced Barcelona as a player, he also has met them as the coach for seven times, with a record of six defeats and one win. The victory goes back to the 2018/19 season in a league match at Camp Nou.
It was over a year ago now, ahead of a clash between Betis and Barcelona, when Setien asked Sergio Busquets for his shirt and the 31-year-old vice-captain obliged, signing it with “For Quique with appreciation and admiration for your way of understanding football. All the best.”
It is interesting to know that Setien has coached former Barca players Bartra, Kaptoum, Tello, Sanabria, Araujo, Halilovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng, as well as the current player, Junior Firpo.
Everyone has heard about Setien’s admiration for the best football player of all time, Lionel Messi. Apparently, the new Barcelona Coach has always praised his current team and especially Leo Messi, who he considers "a luxury and the best player in history."
A chess player
Apart from football’s world, it seems like Quique Setién likes to use his brain cells in other activities as well, as he has a passion for chess and has played against former World Champions Anatoli Karpov and Gary Kasparov.
It is interesting to know that Setien has claimed chess has been vital for him in understanding patience and control in sport, which makes him iconic in football as he sees the game like a giant checkerboard. That is why his teams have specific moves and automatisms on the pitch.
That’s all for now. However, you may still want to know about the story of Setien joining Barcelona in just 2 days.
In fact, we have to mention that the former Betis coach, was not Blaugrana’s first choice, but after Xavi and Ronald Koemen rejected the offer, he received the offer for the job, which seems like a wild dream to him, as he claims.
“Yesterday I was walking past cows in my home town; today I was at Barcelona’s training ground coaching the best players in the world, an enormous club,” Setién said at his unveiling at Camp Nou.
“This is the absolute pinnacle; you will never go higher than this and I have to make the players feel the same way,” he said. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being here.”
He also went on to thank Valverde, a man of “principles” whose work he was “grateful” for.
“He leaves me a team that is top. When you’re there, out of work, waiting for an opportunity, you imagine a team that’s down the bottom, in trouble. It’s not normal to take over a team that’s first,” Setién said.
How do you think he will perform as the Barcelona coach in the future? Leave your comments in the comment section.