Barcelona fans discuss the idea of replacing Ernesto Valverde with Jose Mourinho

Barcelona v Inter Milan - UEFA Champions League

For the first time in 818 days, Real Madrid are ahead of Barcelona in La Liga.

The opening weekend of the new season saw Barcelona stunned by Athletic Bilbao, while Real Madrid defeated Celta Vigo 3-1.

Of course, there’s plenty of football to go. And Barcelona have Lionel Messi, who missed the defeat to Bilbao with a calf injury, to return.

Yet Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will be acutely aware of how important a fast start is.

Their La Liga success aside, last season ended in huge disappointment for the Blaugrana.

They threw away a 3-0 first leg lead to lose against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final and were beaten by Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.

Three trophies were within reach last season but they ended up with just one.

And so the easiest way for Valverde to get the fans on side is by showing that the team is good enough to compete on all fronts once again this season.

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Mourinho as Barcelona boss?

But the 1-0 opening day defeat to Bilbao is a setback and supporters are already thinking of Valverde’s successor.

Indeed, one name is being mooted that would cause quite the stir: Jose Mourinho.

Barcelona-based Twitter account @Barzaboy asked followers the following, straightforward question: “Would you replace Ernesto Valverde with Jose Mourinho?”

Mourinho managed Barca’s rivals Real Madrid for three seasons from 2010 to 2013 and he played the part of pantomime villain perfectly in some iconic battles against Pep Guardiola.

His antics would have put some Barcelona fans off him forever but, despite the past, some are actually for seeing Mourinho in the dugout at the Camp Nou.

“Absolutely,” wrote @Ary721_. “Any manager who has even a little experience of UCL football would work better than Valverde.

“And you are talking about Mourinho, one of the very best.”

Click HERE to read all the responses. Below are some of the best.

Yet it’s unlikely that Mourinho, who worked at Barcelona as a translator under Bobby Robson in the 1990s before coaching under Louis van Gaal for three seasons, will ever manage Barcelona.

The Portuguese coach admitted as much in 2010.

“I'm not stupid enough to think that this hate can be turned into love," he said, per The Guardian.

"I respect Barca and I'll never forget what the club gave me in the four years I was here, but something has been created around me that is hard to make positive.

“It is clear that I will end my career without having coached Barca."

You can never say never in football, though, and it’ll be fascinating if that rings true here.

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