Quique Setien Biography

Wed 04 August 2021 | 4:30

Many were expecting him to have a successful spell with the Barcelona team, however, things did not go for him as planned. In this article, we will take a look at Quique Setien biography.

Quique Setien, born 27 September 1958 in Santander, is a former Spanish footballer who usually played as a midfielder and current football coach. Between 1977 and 1996 he played for Racing Santander, Atlético Madrid, Logroñés, again Racing Santander and Levante. In 1985 Setien made his debut in the Spanish national team and in two years he played three international matches. After his career as a player, Setien became a trainer. In his last position, from January to August 2020, Setien was the coach of FC Barcelona.

About five years after he ended his active career, Setien started to coach the club for which he had played the most, Racing Santander. Following a short spell at Polideportivo Ejido and a few years without a club, he was the national coach of Equatorial Guinea for a few months in 2006, then became coach at Logroñés and in June 2009 Lugo appointed him in charge. He would stay at Lugo as a coach for six seasons. Setien was hired by Las Palmas in October 2015 to succeed Paco Herrera.

During his second season, he announced that he would leave Las Palmas in the summer of 2017. Real Betis appointed him as a coach that summer, signing a contract for three seasons. During the 2017/18 season, Betis finished in sixth place, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. Following the end of the 2018/19 season, Setien decided to leave Betis behind, and after the departure of Ernesto Valverde, Setien was appointed as Barcelona's new coach in January 2020.

All You Need to Know About Quique Setien Biography

His contract was signed until the end of the 2021/22 season. After under his leadership, Barcelona finished in second place in the Primera División, was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao and lost 2-8 to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the

Champions League

, Setien was fired in August 2020.

Quique Setien Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of

Quique Setien biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Quique Setien nationality

to let you know him even more.

Quique Setien Bio

  • Full Name: Enrique Setien Solar

  • Nickname: El Maestro

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Quique Setien Physical Stats

  • Weight: 76 Kg

  • Height: 1.82 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Quique Setien Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 10

  • Professional Debut: 1977

Quique Setien Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 27 September 1958

  • Birth Place: Santander, Spain

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: Spanish

In this section of

Quique Setien biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about

Quique Setien childhood

and more.

Quique Setien Early Life

Setien was born on 27 September 1958 in Santander, the capital of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, where he grew up and started playing football on a pitch in his neighbourhood. At first, he played for a junior team from Casablanca in a children's championship of El Sardinero and, when he was 14, he moved to the training club CA Perines, also based in Santander.

Racing Santander

By then he was already working part-time in the office of the Santander-based Colegio de Farmacéuticos de Cantabria, earning his first money there. He eventually moved to

Racing Santander

in 1977, debuting for them in the Primera División, Spain's top football league, that same year at the old El Sardinero, which was the predecessor of the current Campos de Sport de El Sardinero.

On 2 October 1977, in a 1-1 draw with Betis Sevilla, he was sent on at half-time by coach Nando Yosu in place of Rafael Ángel Barrero Villar, known as Barrero for short.  He subsequently made regular appearances in the Spanish first division under Yosu, but it was not until early March of the following year that Setien made his breakthrough and emerged as a regular for the Verdiblancos, the Green and Whites.

By the end of the 1977/78 season, Setien made 21 league appearances and scored two goals. With the team, he finished 13th out of 18 in the final standings. In the 1977/78 Copa del Rey, the midfielder and his team suffered an early exit in the third round against

Real Madrid


In 1978/79, Racing Santander was relegated to the second division, along with 16th-placed Celta Vigo and last-placed Recreativo Huelva. Ranked second to last, Racing Santander were relegated to the Spanish second division along with 16th-placed Celta Vigo and last-placed Recreativo Huelva.

Before that, Santander had lost 12 of their last 14 league games. Although Setien was used regularly by coach Nando Yosu and his successor, interim coach Santiago Gutiérrez Calle, he ultimately made only 24 league appearances, scoring three goals.

The club was much more successful in the 1978/79 Copa del Rey, however, winning the first, second, third and fourth rounds and reaching the quarter-finals against Sevilla FC, where they lost 4-1 on aggregate. In the cup matches, Setien was a key midfielder and played in ten of his team's twelve games, scoring two goals and assisting as many for his teammates.

Under Laureano Ruiz, who was once an active player himself at Racing Santander and had already held the position of head coach of the team for a short period in the 1960s, Setien started the 1979/80 season in which he soon became a regular. Playing in 33 of 38 possible championship games, the 1.82 m tall midfielder managed to score five goals and, in 16th place, barely managed to keep the team out of the relegation zone.

He remained a regular until the end of the season, when Laureano Ruiz took over from Moruca as coach of the second division side in March 1980. Setien played in five of his team's six matches in 1979/80, with two goals in total, and he and the team were knocked out of the competition in the third main round against Castilla CF, Real Madrid's second team.

In the following seasons, thanks to good performances from Setien and his teammates, the club managed to finish third in the league and make their return to the Primera Division. However, in the 1982/83 season, because of a serious injury, Setien didn’t manage to play for his team and at the end of the season, they finished by being relegated again.

In the Segunda División 1983/84, Setien was once again one of the key performers of his team and they managed to win promotion to the Primera Division, where in the 1984/85 season, for the first they managed to stay at the top tier of Spanish football in the recent years.

In this section of

Quique Setien biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career in the capital city.

Atlético Madrid

In the summer break before the 1985/86 season, the midfielder signed a contract with Spanish runners-up and cup winners

Atlético Madrid

, then coached by club legend

Luis Aragones

. This was probably the most successful season of Setien's entire active career. Having won the 1984/85 Cup, the capital club earned an automatic place in the 1985/86 European Cup Winners' Cup.

Following victories over Celtic Glasgow in Round 1, Bangor City in Round 2, as well as Red Star Belgrade in the quarter-finals and Bayer 05 Uerdingen in the semi-finals, the team built around the 1.82 m midfielder made it to the final. The match was played on 2 May 1986 in front of 50,000 spectators at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon and ended in a 3-0 defeat for the Spaniards against Dynamo Kiev.

He stayed in Atletico Madrid for three seasons, where he played 73 league games and managed to score 7 goals for the team. He also won the Spanish Super Cup with Atletico and it was during his spell there that he was called up to the national team.


In the final classification of 1988/89, the team from the metropolis of


finished in 14th place and had already been eliminated early in the Copa del Rey 1988/89 against Betis Sevilla. Subsequently, under José Luis Romero, Setien, who had been released by Atlético Madrid, played the entire 1989/90 season and was a regular player.

With nine goals in 32 games, Setien also regained his former offensive prowess. In the final standings, he led his club to seventh place and they narrowly missed out on an international place. During his 4 years spell there, Setien played a total of 114 league matches and scored 20 goals.

Return to Racing Santander

He then accepted the call of his former club Racing Santander and enjoyed a successful second division season with them in 1992/93, with the team always placing in the top five throughout the season. Playing 37 out of a possible 38 league games, Setien was a key performer for his team and was also the team's top scorer with eleven goals, alongside Nigerian Mutiu Adepoju, who scored the same number of goals.

Finishing third behind Real Valladolid (second) and UE Lleida (first), both of which were promoted to the Primera División, Santander, like fourth-placed RCD Mallorca, they had the chance to win promotion to Spain's top flight via the promotion play-offs. The experienced player was also used by Paquito García in both games against Espanyol and secured a return to the country's top football league, in which they had last been represented in the 1986/87 season.

He played a total of 124 matches in four years during his second spell in Racing Santander and scored 25 goals, before making a move to


in 1996.


The 37-year-old, after his spell with Racing briefly joined Spanish third division side UD Levante, for whom he made three league appearances in the 1995/96 season. At the end of the season, the club finished first in Group 3 of the Segunda División B and was then promoted to professional football in the subsequent promotion play-offs.

Setien played a key role in the promotion, appearing in five of the six playoff matches and scored two important goals. After the success with Levante, Setien ended his career as a professional footballer.

Spain National Team

During his successful season with Atlético Madrid, Setien earned a place in Spain's senior national team in 1985/86. He debuted in a friendly against Austria on 20 November 1985, when he was played for the full duration by national team coach Miguel Muñoz in a 0-0 draw.

He played another friendly a month later; he was on the pitch from the start in the 2-0 win over Bulgaria on 18 December and was substituted in the 72nd minute by Manuel Sarabia, who would play with him at CD Logroñés years later. It was another month later when the midfielder made his third and final appearance for La Furia Roja, coming on as a half-time substitute in a 2-0 win over the USSR on 22 January 1986.

Subsequently, Setien was part of the


squad for the 1986 World Cup finals but failed to make any appearances during the tournament until the quarter-final match, which was eventually lost on penalties to Belgium. That left him with only three international appearances in the course of his career.

Quique Setien Profile

Approximately five years after his career as an active footballer ended, Quique Setien was appointed coach of Racing Santander, the club with which he had spent the majority of his career, one day after Gustavo Benítez was sacked. Under Benitez the team had failed to win their last game against SD Eibar, leaving them 19th in the table with just a single win from their first seven league games, Setien got them back on track.

After dropping to a relegation spot in the following match, the team climbed into the top three of the league within eleven match days. Subsequently, Racing Santander maintained their position at the top of the table, finishing runners-up in the Spanish second division behind Atlético Madrid and winning direct promotion to the country's top football league. For Setien, it was his fourth promotion to the Primera División with Racing Santander - three times as a player and once as a coach.

Polideportivo Ejido

Although Setien was a great success at Santander, his former team-mate Manuel Preciado, who had coached the club's second team, took over as coach during the summer break. Setien announced in November 2001 that he would only continue coaching until the end of the season, but the former Spanish international stayed on as Racing Santander's director of football for another season before moving to Spanish second division side Polideportivo Ejido in the summer of 2003.

But the move proved unsuccessful after just a few months. In mid-November 2003, after the Andalusian club had won only two of its last 15 games in the league, Setien was fired. José María Salmerón, Setien's assistant coach, took over as interim head coach, only to be replaced a few days later by Julián Rubio, who managed to lead the team away from the relegation places until the end of the season.

Assistant to the Russian beach soccer team

In the following years, Setien was technical director and assistant coach of the Russian national beach soccer team from 2005 to 2006. He was introduced to Nikolai Pissarev, the coach of the Russian national beach soccer team, through his former teammates Dmitri Popov and Valery Karpin, both of whom he also knew from his playing days.

His duties with the Russians consisted of finding new players for the team and training them to make the Russian team more competitive. Some weeks later, he took the team to the Euro Beach Soccer Cup, where the Russians, who had never been ranked in the top four before, reached the final against Switzerland in front of their own crowd in Moscow, where they narrowly lost 3:4.

Equatorial Guinea

Setien, an admirer of Johan Cruyff's philosophy, switched to the national football team of

Equatorial Guinea

in autumn 2006, taking over from Brazilian Antônio Dumas.  This was part of an agreement involving CD Logroñés that would see a squad of Equatorial Guinean players selected by Setien find their way to CD Logroñés. An estimated 200,000 children under the age of 15 were targeted in the former Spanish colony. Setien's job in Equatorial Guinea ended after only three months and he returned to Spain.

CD Logroñés

Afterwards, he joined CD Logroñés, with whom he had once played for years in the Primera División. In the meantime, the club, which was suffering from both sporting and financial problems, was playing in the Spanish third division and was unable to break away from the bottom of the table even under Setien's leadership.

The former midfielder was sacked in January 2008 after only a few months in charge - CD Logroñés was last in Group 2 of the Segunda División B - and was substituted by Agustín Abadía, who succeeded in keeping the team out of the relegation zone but was unable to prevent it due to financial problems.

In this section of Quique Setien biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his



CD Lugo

He went on to take over as coach of league rivals CD Lugo in the summer of 2009, where he replaced Fonsi Valverde as a coach. He led his team to seventh place in the table in his first season at the Galician club, which was competing in the 2009/10 Segunda División B in Group 1, after a spell in third place.

During the following 2010/11 season, CD Lugo had what was one of the most dominant teams in the league; from as early as matchday 17, the team would never slip from the top of the table until the end of the season, and in the end, became champions of Group 1 of Segunda División B.

As a result, the team qualified for the promotion play-offs of the group winners but failed in this narrowly with an aggregate score of 1-2 to Real Murcia. Due to the first place, CD Lugo was eligible to participate in the 2011/12 Copa del Rey; however, Setien only guided his team to the first round, where they lost to Real Oviedo with an aggregate score of 1-3. Similarly.

In 2011/12, the Setien-coached side was among the most successful in Group 1 of Segunda División B, ultimately finishing in 3rd place to qualify for the promotion play-offs. After defeating SD Eibar in Round 1 and Atlético Baleares in Round 2, Lugo knocked out Cadiz in the third round only on penalties to secure promotion 19 years since they last competed in Spain's second division.

In 2012/13 Copa del Rey, Lugo was knocked out early in the second round by Racing Santander, but in the 2012/13 Segunda División, the team managed to finish 11th. The team had been in sixteenth place up until a few rounds before the end of the season and was able to climb out of the bottom of the table after a 2-0 home win over CE Sabadell.

The contract with Setien, which was due to expire at the end of the season and who had been complaining about the club's poor infrastructure just months before, was then renewed for at least another season after Setien agreed to continue coaching the team after all. One condition for continuing in the Spanish second division at all was for CD Lugo to outsource its professional operations to a Sociedad Anónima Deportiva, which gradually took place in the months that followed.

Things were a bit more turbulent in the 2013/14 season when Setien actually led his team to second place in the table in the eleventh round of the league, but the team quickly lost it and slipped to 14th place within a few games. Following a resurgence in the second half of the season, CD Lugo eventually won only one of its last seven league games and ended the season in twelfth place in the table.

Following this, Setien, who rejected offers from other clubs, continued to stay with the Galician club for one more season; the contract renewal took place at the beginning of June 2014.

Nevertheless, despite all their efforts, CD Lugo remained a mid-table club in the 2014/15 Segunda División, ultimately ending up in only 15th place in the table - just five points away from the next relegation spot. It was on June 7, 2015, in the match FC Girona - CD Lugo (1-1), that he managed his last match as coach of the northwestern Spanish club and then left the club after six consecutive seasons.

He had learned from the club's management a few days earlier of the end of his time in Lugo. Like the season before, CD Lugo also failed in the third round of the 2014/15 season's cup against its rivals.

UD Las Palmas

After a brief spell without a club, Setien arrived on 19 October 2015 at UD

Las Palmas

, who had made a return to the Primera División after a 13-year absence, where he replaced Paco Herrera from the ninth round of matches, helping the team move from second-last in the table back to mid-table. He signed a contract until the end of the season, with an option for another season.

After the former Spanish international initially had trouble moving the team away from the relegation zone, he was able to do so in the final third of the season, when he even took the team close to a European spot, but then finished the season in eleventh place in the table. Due to his performance, he was even named the best coach in the Primera División in March 2016.

Meanwhile, in 2015/16 Copa del Rey, Setien and his team were already eliminated in January in the quarterfinals against Valencia FC with a narrow aggregate score of 1:2. After his contract, which was due to expire, was renewed by pulling the option, the Gran Canaria club struggled in the following 2016/17 season.

Although the team got off to a good start, they slipped further and further down the table from the third round onwards, in particular suffering 13 defeats and only three wins in the last 18 rounds of the league until the end of the season, leading to the team's 14th place finish in the final league table.

Not even the loan signings of Jesé or Alen Halilović in the winter were able to contribute to better results. Setien announced as early as 18 March 2017 that he would no longer be the Canaries' coach from the next season due to some differences that had become impossible to resolve.


After having been approached by Betis in 2014, Setien was appointed as their new coach on May 26, 2017, when he signed a three-year contract with the Andalusian club, starting in the 2017/18 season. The club's first season under Setien's leadership was largely mixed, with the team initially finishing in the top positions of the table and then increasingly in mid-table as the season progressed, but they were able to fight their way back up to the top positions in March 2018, finishing the season in sixth place two months later.

In contrast to UD Las Palmas, where he made it at least to the round of 16 in the 2016/17

Copa del Rey

when the team suffered a narrow exit to Atlético Madrid, Setien and Betis were knocked out of the current tournament one round earlier in 2017/18 with an aggregate score of 5:6 against FC Cádiz. Due to their position in the 2017/18 Primera División final standings, Betis were then eligible to participate in the group stage of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League in place of the cup winners.

In the group stage that followed, the Setien-coached team finished as winners of their group, which saw them progress to the round of 16 against Stade Rennes, losing 3-1 in the subsequent second leg after a 3-3 draw in the first leg. In the league, there was a constant up-and-down play in the beginning; only in the second half of the season, there was consistency.

As a result, the coach led his team to tenth place in the 2017/18

La Liga

table and was notably successful with the team in the 2018/19 Copa del Rey, where they only narrowly lost out to eventual cup winners Valencia FC in the semi-finals. Having previously had differences with the club's supporters, many of whom had been calling for his stepping down for months, and with sporting vice-president Llorenç Serra Ferrer, Setien's contract with the club was terminated with a year to go.

FC Barcelona

As early as January 2019, Setien was linked with

FC Barcelona

. It was on 13 January 2020 that Setien signed a contract with FC Barcelona running until 30 June 2022, taking over from Ernesto Valverde as coach of the defending champions and league leaders. Xavi, who was the club's preferred candidate, had turned the club down.

In the end, Barcelona only finished as runners-up and was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Spanish Cup. They suffered a debacle in the Champions League: the 8-2 defeat in the quarter-finals against

FC Bayern Munich

marked the highest defeat in Barcelona's European Cup history. Only in 1946 had the Catalans conceded eight goals in a competitive match. A couple of days later, the club parted ways with Setien.

In this section of Quique Setien biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

Quique Setien is an avid fan of

Johan Cruyff

 style of attacking play and possession. Setien implements this style in the teams he coaches, with very clear principles. He says: "If you have the ball, nobody is going to be able to score a goal. This way, each player will have fun and enjoy himself much more with the ball in his feet than running behind him".


He was regarded by many football pundits and fans as one of the best Spanish coaches of his generation, however, following his poor time with Barcelona, his reputation had declined and now, he is without a club.

Quique Setien outside Football

At the invitation of Joaquín Alonso, a former Spanish national player and club legend from Sporting Gijón, he became involved in beach soccer after retiring from playing football.

Setien is an avid chess player since his youth and joined the Santander-based chess club Torres Blancas when he was still young. While at

Real Betis

, he was able to play against the chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, among others. He also participated in various international tournaments and competed against Garry Kasparov or IBM's Deep Blue chess computer.

He has also written chess articles, including in the newspaper El Mundo, and wrote an obituary for the world champion Bobby Fischer. Setien's highest achieved Elo rating was 2055, which placed him in the expert category.

Quique Setien Personal Life

In this section of Quique Setien biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about

Quique Setien life story


Quique Setien religion


Family, Children and Relationships

Setien is the son-in-law of José Antonio Lozano, also a footballer at one time, having played for Racing Santander in the 1960s. One of his sons, Laro Setien, born in 1995, also went on to become a professional footballer, and also played for Racing Santander during his career. He has been under contract with Spanish third division club UE Sant Andreu since 2019.


During his time with Barcelona, he managed the team in a charity match against the Catalan team Igualada, to help them recover from the Covid-19 pandemic which had severely hit the town.

Legal Issues

After being fired from Barcelona, he had a legal dispute with the club after Barcelona said that they will not pay his remaining contract which was about £3.5 million.

Quique Setien Career Statistics

In this section of Quique Setien biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


Between 1977 and 1996, Setien had played a total of 565 matches in all competitions and scored 102 goals for his clubs.


He had also made 3 international appearances with the Spanish national team in 1985 and was a part of the team in the 1986 World Cup, where he failed to play a match.


As of 14 August 2020, Setien has a win ratio of 38.67 percent after 203 wins, 147 draws and 175 defeats in a total of 525 matches he was the manager of many Spanish teams.

Quique Setien Honors

His only title in the world of football is the Supercopa de España that he won with Atletico Madrid in 1985. During that season, he also was runner-up in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

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source: SportMob