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30 May 2017

Ernesto Valverde named new Barcelona manager

FC Barcelona's new manager

FC Barcelona has confirmed Ernesto Valverde as their new coach after Luis Enrique's departure.

The 53-year old, former Athletic Bilbao coach, signed a two year contract with the Spanish giant and will bring two members of his staff at Athletic to Barcelona.

A former Barcelona forward, Valverde was a part of Johan Cruyff's squad between 1988 and 1990.

In context

FC Barcelona's new manager
Who is he?

Ernesto Valverde

Who is he?

Ernesto Valverde, a former Barcelona player, replaced Luis Enrique as the new Barcelona FC manager.

He started his managerial stint as an assistant at Athletic Bilbao in 2001, following which he was appointed as coach of Athletic Bilbao B team in 2002.

After his stints with Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia, he returned to Athletic in 2013.


Valverde's contribution at Athletic Bilbao

After he returned to Athletic in 2013, Valverde led the club to qualify for the Champions League group stage in his very first year.

He also led Athletic to a 2015 Spanish Super Cup victory, with an aggregate 5-1 win against Barcelona. It was their first title win in 31 years.

The same year, Athletic reached the finals of Copa del Rey.

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He has the right coaching style: Barcelona president

After announcing Valverde as the coach, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said, "Valverde has the knowledge and experience we were looking for and he loves youth football. He has a special style and a philosophy which is similar to Barca's. He's a very hard worker."

Challenges for Valverde


Challenges for Valverde

One of the biggest challenges, for Valverde, would be that he has never managed a mammoth club like Barcelona and won't be prepared to handle the club with experience gained elsewhere.

Valverde would also have to overcome internal politics of Camp Nou that wore down Enrique.

His major task will be overtaking Real Madrid, which has steered to the top after Zinedine Zidane's appointment.

Valverde's first assignment with Barcelona?

Ernesto Valverde's first game as manage-in-charge with Barcelona FC will be in the 2017 Spanish Super Cup when his team will take on arch rivals Real Madrid in August.

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