Happy with the new boss then, Antoine? Griezmann leads Barcelona stars in high spirits as they head out for Quique Setien’s first training session after Ernesto Valverde was sacked despite being top of LaLiga
- Quique Setien took charge of his first training session as Barcelona manager
- The former Real Betis coach was appointed as Ernesto Valverde’s successor
- He got straight down to work on Tuesday ahead of a LaLiga clash with Granada
- Valverde left Barcelona top of LaLiga and in the last 16 of the Champions League
Quique Setien wasted no time in exerting his influence at Barcelona as the club’s new manager took training for the first time since being appointed – and the players looked delighted with their new boss.
Ernesto Valverde was sacked on Monday evening despite the club being top of LaLiga and in the last 16 of the Champions League.
But Setien, a disciple of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, was brought in following the club’s Spanish Super Cup loss to Atletico Madrid and he was quick to get to know his players in an early-morning training session with Antoine Griezmann among those who appeared delighted with the change at the top.
Quique Setien (centre) took charge of his first training session since taking over at Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann (right) was beaming as he emerged for training on Tuesday morning
Lionel Messi was another to look happy as players got down to work with their new manager
January 19: Barcelona v Granada
January 25: Valencia v Barcelona
February 2: Barcelona v Levante
February 9: Real Betis v Barcelona
February 16: Barcelona v Getafe
February 23: Barcelona v Eibar
Players were beaming as they emerged onto the training pitch, with one eye on their upcoming home game against Granada.
The Spanish minnows stunned Valverde’s Barcelona back in September with a 2-0 win and it was one of a number of matches that tainted Setien’s predecessor.
Griezmann gave a huge smile to the camera while Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi were seen sharing a joke ahead of Setien’s first session as manager.
This is far and away the biggest job in the 61-year-old’s management career as he inherits a side on course to win a third successive title.
After training concluded on Tuesday, he faces a busy schedule.
He was to head to a contract signing in the President box before a photo session on the pitch at Nou Camp later in the afternoon.
Ernsto Valverde was sacked by Barcelona on Monday despite having them top of LaLiga
WHO IS BARCELONA’S NEW MANAGER?
Born: Santander, Spain, September 27 1958 (Aged 61)
Clubs managed: Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Equatorial Guinea, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas, Real Betis
Achievements: Finished sixth with Real Betis in 17-18
Won promotion to Spanish second tier with Lugo in 10-11
A press conference would then be held where he will address the media for the first time since his surprise appointment.
Setien is far from a glamorous appointment to replace the increasingly unpopular Valverde.
But what he will bring is a return to Barcelona’s long-standing Cruyff-style of play.
The self-confessed disciple of Cruyff once said: ‘I would have given my little finger to have played in Cruyff’s Barca team’ before going on to upset Real Betis supporters when he added, ‘of course I would like to coach Barcelona one day’.
He took Betis into Europe two seasons ago and got the better of the man he has now replaced, leading them to a 4-3 over Valverde’s Barcelona side last season.
Setien has a kind run to get started with four games at the Nou Camp in the next six.
Tricky trips to Valencia, and to his former club Betis, will prove more of a test of his credentials.
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