Barca to make coach appointment on Monday

Ross Houston
June 5, 2017

That, allied to the fact that his former coach at Athletic Bilbao, Ernesto Valverde, is expected to be named as Barca's new boss on Monday, led to strong rumours that the 27-year-old could return to Spain.

A former Barcelona player, where he enjoyed two seasons at the Camp Nou under Johan Cruyff, he becomes the club's fourth manager since the departure of Pep Guardiola in 2012. While Enrique completed the Treble in his first season, followed by a League and Cup Double and winning the Copa del Rey in his final season, there were constant talks of the club being unhappy with his approach. "He promotes the youth players and he has a Barça way", said president Josep Maria Bartomeu, announcing the appointment. He likes to work with the basics, has a playing style just like the one Barcelona FC uses and is an enthusiast of the new technologies and training methods, ' said Bartomeu to reporters Monday.

Valverde's official introduction to fans and the media will be held on Thursday.

Valverde is no stranger to Barcelona, having played there from 1988-1990, but this will be his biggest managerial post by a long shot.

And Valverde has proven adept at harnessing young talents such as Inaki Williams and Aymeric Laporte into the first team over the past four seasons during which Athletic have qualified for Europe every year.

Valverde has also coached Espanyol, Olympiakos, Villarreal and Valencia.

"As a coach, [Valverde] has gathered a great deal of experience both in Spain and overseas", read an official statement from Barcelona.

"Ernesto Valverde is the new coach of Barcelona".

He took Barca's crosstown rivals Espanyol to an unlikely UEFA Cup final in 2007 only to lose on penalties to Sevilla. He has knowledge, experience and has a philosophy similar to ours.

Valverde's backroom staff will include Jon Aspiazu with whom he has worked for 15 years and fitness coach Jose Antonio Pozanco.

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