Barcelona have confirmed Ernesto Valverde as their new coach following Luis Enrique’s departure. The club took to their twitter handle to confirm the news. According to them, Ernesto Valverde is the new @FCBarcelona coach. Welcome, Ernesto!#HolaValverde.Valverde, 53, stepped down from his role in charge of Athletic Bilbao last week having led the Basque club to seventh place in La Liga and Europa League qualification. He has also managed Villarreal, Valencia and Bar”s city rivals Espanyol in a varied coaching career that included two years in Greece with Olympiakos. Valverde also had a two-year spell as a Barcelona player in the late 1980s and will now return to the Camp Nou after a 27-year absence.
Barcelona lifted the Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win against Alaves in Enrique final game in charge on Saturday, the ninth trophy of his three-year reign. However, the victory came at the end of a campaign which included disappointment in both La Liga and Europe, with the title going to Bar bitter rivals Real Madrid, who are also in the Champions League final on Saturday, aiming to retain the European Cup by beating Juventus.
Enrique had announced in March he would be leaving the club at the end of the season to take a one-year break from management. 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 has a Bar way. He is a hard worker and he is a fan of using technology in training and in managing matches. He was not the only name on the table. From the moment Luis Enrique said he was not going to continue (technical secretary) Robert Fernandez began a search. He spoke to a lot of people and studied the market. Many people took part in this decision and we did look at different names but our conclusion was one name and one coach. We know him, we know what he can do. Robert explained he was looking for a coach who had the Barcelona profile and knows the style. Ernesto is a very hard worker. He has knowledge, experience and has a philosophy similar to ours. He works a lot, he likes using technology.