It was the worst kept secret in football that Barcelona would appoint Ernesto Valverde as Luis Enrique’s successor.
Barça only seriously considered two coaches: Valverde and Enrique’s assistant at the Camp Nou, Juan Carlos Unzue.
But it was Athletic Bilbao head coach Valverde who the Barça board opted to hire. Unzue, meanwhile, will take charge of Celta Vigo for the next two seasons.
"I have spoken personally with Ernesto Valverde and I told him of our decision," club president Josep Maria Bartomeu was quoted as saying by Goal. "He said he is very excited and very happy, that it's a great challenge to come in as head coach of Barça.
"There is time to talk about why we chose him. We know he has ability, his knowledge and his experience.
"He loves youth football and he has a special style, similar to what we do at Barça. He has philosophy similar to Barca's and trains the way we like to train."
Gary Neville reacts to the news on Twitter
Although the appointment has been met with a large amount of indifference from Barça fans - this is hardly the return of Pep Guardiola, after all - one person pleased by the news is Gary Neville.
The former Manchester United captain, who returned to Sky Sports last season following his ill-fated four-month spell with Valencia during the 2015-16 campaign, revealed something about Valverde nobody knew before.
“Good man and great coach,” he tweeted. “The only manager in Spain that actually spoke to me pre and post match.”
Neville mocked for his tweet
A pretty honest admission from Neville, that. But Twitter reacted by mocking the retired English defender. *Sigh*.
It turns out that Valverde was also the only coach in La Liga to have a post-match drink with David Moyes.
At least you’ll always be welcome in England if it doesn’t work out at the Camp Nou, Ernesto.
Phil Neville then tweeted
Phil Neville then did his classic Phil Neville thing by copying pretty much exactly what his older brother said.
“Valverde my favorite coach in spain,” tweeted the former Valencia assistant coach.
“Await replies!!” Gary warned his younger sibling. “I tried to say something similar…”
And was also mocked...
Here’s how Twitter replied to Phil’s tweet…
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