Safe choice Ernesto Valverde faces huge job to revive Barcelona
Long wine and was chosen as successor to Luis Enrique, because of his great experience, but he faces a huge task of rejuvenating one side to show signs of deterioration.
Valverde is one of many former Barcelona players who was inspired to enter management by visionary coach Johan Cruyff, who worked with the striker between 1988 and 1990, and declared his admiration for his former student when he started.
“He was a very smart player and always gave me his interest in football and the enthusiasm to learn,” said Cruyff when Valverde was his first job at Athletic Bilbao.
“He is one of the most notable and promising coaches in Spain.”
Valverde, 53, has had great success in almost every job he has undergone, coming to the UEFA Cup final in 2007 with Barça rivals Espanyol and winning three Greek league titles with Olympiakos Piraeus.
Barca tried to convince him to take over in 2013 when Tito Vilanova was forced to abandon the role of the disease, but Valverde had agreed athletic trainer again, which led the Catalans opt for relatively unknown Gerardo Martino.
Valverde’s knowledge at Barça and his many years of coaching experience in Spain saw Argentine carver Jorge Sampaoli and assistant to Luis Enrique, Juan Carlos Unzué, first place.
He qualified for European athletic football in five of the six seasons in Bilbao, where he was coach with more, and hammered Barcelona 4-0 on the way to victory in the Spanish Cup in 2015.
Valverde’s balance to nurture youngsters like Inaki Williams and Aymeric Laporte is also popular at Barça, with their proud tradition of local players such as Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi.
When Luis Enrique was asked if he had any advice for his successor, he commented: “He has more experience than I do, so appreciate it.”
However, even the impressive career of Valverde will be insufficient preparation for the demanding work of Barça, which consumes Guardiola and Luis Enrique predecessors, who had to take a year off after being drained by pressure.
He also faces a huge task of revitalizing the aging and a highly talented team that needs a review following the 3-0 defeat of Juventus resounding to the quarterfinals of the Champions League and League of inconsistent title For the Real Madrid.
His priorities will be the restructuring of the midfielder, who was the axis of Barça’s success in Guardiola, but lost his power as with Captain Iniesta now 33 years old, and the discovery of a new class of first class to complete the gaping hole left by The departure of Dani Alves.
Valverde is seen as a pair of safe hands that do not try to impose his character heavily on a storm dressing, although the quiet and relaxed nature is put to the test if he decides that wholesale changes are needed to revive his fortune.