Setien: From walking with cows to coaching Barcelona in 24 hours
“Yesterday I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I’m here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world.”
It is a quote worthy of leading the story of Ernesto Valverde’s opening press conference as Barcelona head coach.
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The 61-year-old replaced Ernesto Valverde on Monday, and was officially unveiled on Tuesday after signing a two-and-a-half year contract.
“I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance,” Setien said. “Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I have to thank the club. I’m excited about this challenge and this project.
“I thank Ernesto Valverde for leaving me with a side that is top of the league. My objective is to win everything. Everything you can win, this club has no other path to follow."
Setien joins Barcelona with the club top of La Liga, level on points with Real Madrid.
And while defending their domestic crown will be a top target, the main aim will be delivering the Champions League after five years without lifting the trophy.
Barcelona's new coach Quique Setien (L) gives a press conference with Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu (R) during his official presentation in Barcelona on January 14, 2020Getty Images
Setien will look to do so while implementing his own style too, and having previously impressed at Betis, the self-confessed student of Johan Cruyff is clear on his vision.
“Every time a new manager comes in, there is a stimulus for everyone inside the dressing room. You notice it immediately,” Setien added.
“This stimulus that we saw in the session today, we need to maintain that and I have never met a coach who is the same.
" Many people say ‘this coach is exactly the same’, but the reality is we are all very different. I am very clear as to what Barca needs. I’ve seen this from outside, we’ve watched them and analysed them."
“There are a lot of things we are very clear about and we will try to transmit that. These are just words, though, and we want things that are long-lasting.”
Setien was inevitably asked about Lionel Messi, having stated in the past he would cry when the Argentine retires.
“I said that about a lot of players,” he said. “I have enjoyed watching Barcelona for several years, watching them on television.
“To be able to manage the best in the world, and his teammates - he has great teammates - I have spoken to him and others. I have always said that the admiration is one thing but reality is different. Everyone needs to have their place. Messi is Messi, Busquets is Busquets.”