FC Barcelona have appointed former Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde as the next boss for the club. He replaces Luis Enrique who opted to not continue at the Catalan club. He will be officially unveiled to the fans and to the media on Thursday, June 1.
The club had announced at the end of the league season, where they finished second to Real Madrid, that the new boss would be announced on January 29. In a press conference, club president Josep Bartomeu said, “Valverde has the ability, the judgement, the knowledge and the experience. He promotes the youth players and he has a Barça way. He is a hard worker and he is a fan of using technology in training and in managing matches.”
“He’s very happy very excited, he has the ability, experience and knowledge for the job. He loves youth football and he has the right style to coach this club and knows how the club works. He has a high work rate, he is passionate about football and interested in working with the latest technology,” he added.
In a statement, the club said, “Ernesto Valverde is the new FC Barcelona coach for the next two seasons. The 53 year old former Barça player was previously Athletic Club Bilbao coach and he will take over for the 2017/18 season.”
“This will be Ernesto Valverde’s second spell at the Club, his first coming as a player between 1988 and 1990. The new Barça coach won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Copa del Rey in his two seasons as part of Johan Cruyff’s squad, playing 29 games and scoring 10 goals in official competition.”
“As a coach Valverde has a wealth of experience in Spain and abroad. He has had two spells as coach at both Athletic Club Bilbao and Greek team Olympicacos as well as having coached at Espanyol, Villarreal and Valencia. In his career he has helped his teams to no less than six trophies, five with Olympiacos and one with Athletic Club.”
Valverde brings two members of his coaching staff at Athletic to Barcelona, his assistant of 15 years Jon Aspiazu and fitness coach Jose Antonio Pozanco.