A former midfielder of Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander, Setien was circled as a potential Barca coach during a particularly successful period in charge of Real Betis. He led Betis to a sixth-place finish in 2018 and qualified for the Europa League. But despite overseeing a thrilling 4-3 victory at Camp Nou early the following season, results tailed off. Betis finished 10th and the club and coach parted ways. Previously, he helped Las Palmas avoid relegation from La Liga in 2016.
UCL failures cost Valverde
Despite winning four titles in three years — La Liga in 2017-18 and 2018-19, the 2018 Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espana — Valverde got the boot. While his domestic record has been great, Barcelona showed a tendency to implode on the big stage of Europe. A shocking Champions League collapse against Roma in 2018 was followed by a similar capitulation against Liverpool in the semifinals last year.
Setien in for style correction
Some sections of the Blaugrana faithful were not happy with the reactive style of football Messi & Co played under Valverde. In Setien, the Catalan giants are hoping to bring back the Cryuffian style of football that has been missing for some years now.
Setien has made no secret of his admiration for the stylistic traditions of Barcelona. The 61-year-old is also renowned for favouring an exciting, offensive mode of football. His first game in charge will be at home to Granada on Sunday. Setien’s major headache will be to find a replacement for striker Luis Suarez, who is out for four months.