Barcelona have sacked manager Ernesto Valverde after Atletico Madrid defeat


Barcelona have sacked Ernesto Valverde following the Supercopa de España defeat to Atletico Madrid.

The 55-year-old leaves Camp Nou after two-and-a-half years having succeeded Luis Enrique in 2017.

The Blaugrana have taken the decision despite sitting top of La Liga, level on points with Real Madrid.

There has been persistent unrest against Valverde among the supporters due to the tedium with which his Barca have played at times and his lacklustre tactics.

Victory over Atleti might have bought him more time, but his side threw away a 2-1 lead with nine minutes left to lose 3-2.

It was clear Valverde was on borrowed time when it emerged this week that club officials had met with Xavi in Doha.

However, he has reportedly turned down the role and former Real Betis manager Quique Setién will be in the dugout at Camp Nou, signing a deal until 2022, Barca have confirmed. 

"Barcelona and Quique Setien have reached an agreement for the latter to become first team coach until 30 June 2022," a statement on the club's official website read.

Setien takes over at Barca

Unfortunately, in terms of Valverde's legacy, his domestic success will likely be overshadowed by his failure to win the Champions League.

Under his stewardship, Barcelona have won two back-to-back La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey, and the 2018 Supercopa de España. 

Valverde didn't get the best out of Barca

Yet the prevailing memory is likely to be that 4-0 capitulation at Anfield when Liverpool were beaten to all intents and purposes in the first leg.

That has damaged much of the reputation he built up during his time with Athletic Bilbao and it's unlikely there will be many tears shed among fans over his departure.

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