Ernesto Valverde succeeds Luis Enrique at Barcelona

by Jack Kitson / 29 May 2017, 18:30

Barcelona have officially named Ernesto Valverde as Luis Enrique’s successor in the dugout.

Enrique announced in March that he’d step down at the end of the season, and since then the Spanish giants have been linked with a number of managers, including the club’s assistant boss Juan Carlos Unzue, Sevilla’s Jorge Sampaoli, former player Ronald Koeman, and even Arsene Wenger...but in the end it’s Valverde who has arrived at the Nou Camp after leaving his post at Athletic Bilbao.

Valverde, 55, previously sported the Barcelona shirt between 1888-1990, during which he won the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup under manager Johan Cruyff.

After drawing the curtains on his playing career Valverde then ventured into management with Athletic Bilbao’s youth teams, before taking charge of the club’s B-side for a season, and then elevating himself to manager of the first team.

Valverde went on to take charge of the likes of Espanyol, Olympiakos (twice), Villarreal, and Valencia, winning the Greek title three times and Greek cup twice with Olympiakos, while he led Espanyol through to the 2006/07 UEFA Cup final, losing to Sevilla on penalties.

Valverde returned to Bilbao in 2013 and has since hoisted the club’s first major trophy in a whopping 31 years after a stunning 5-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in the 2015 Supercopa de Espana, while his troops finished runners-up to the same side in the Spanish Cup.

But, after finishing 8th in La Liga last season Valverde has decided to take charge of former club Barcelona, and he now has some big boots to fill, with the club winning nine trophies in the space of just three seasons under Enrique, including that stunning treble in his debut campaign.

Meanwhile, it’s unsure what Enrique’s next move will be, but he currently features in the next Arsenal and Leeds manager markets.

 

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