Barcelona hires former player Ernesto Valverde as its coach

Wednesday, 31 May, 2017

Ernesto Valverde is set to be appointed coach at FC Barcelona, signing a two-year contract with the option of a third year.

The Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said: "Valverde has the ability, the judgment, the knowledge and the experience". "He promotes the youth players and he knows the Barcelona way". "Also, he is passionate about applying technology to both training and matches", Bartomeu added.

Barcelona have confirmed Ernesto Valverde as their new manager following Luis Enrique's departure.

It was Barcelona's worst season under Luis Enrique, despite winning two titles, the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey.

But, after finishing 8th in La Liga last season Valverde has chose to take charge of former club Barcelona, and he now has some big boots to fill, with the club winning nine trophies in the space of just three seasons under Enrique, including that stunning treble in his debut campaign.

After retiring in 1997 Valverde's coaching career has taken him to Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia.

The latter part of Bartomeu's comments are interesting to note, as Valverde's predecessor, Luis Enrique, was given a lot of flak for not playing the "Barca" way i.e. dominate teams with handsome football. In the last four seasons under Valverde, Bilbao never finished lower than seventh in the La Liga table.

However, in keeping with Valverde's character he felt he couldn't turn his back on Athletic having just been hired weeks before.

Enrique led Barcelona to the treble in his first season, the domestic double in 2016 and the Copa del Rey this year.

Speaking to Manchester United's website, Herrera said: "In the league, I think Chelsea at home was maybe the most satisfying performance of the season".

And Valverde had identified the 27-year-old as one of the first names on his summer transfer target list, according to Sport. He's made history at the club - he's the coach with the most games.

He also faces a huge task to revitalise a hugely talented yet ageing squad that requires overhaul following a resounding 3-0 aggregate defeat by Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals and an inconsistent league campaign which surrendered the title to Real Madrid.