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Who is new Barcelona boss Quique Setien? The chess fanatic ‘in love’ with Lionel Messi


“For Quique, with appreciation and admiration for the way you view football,” it read.

It remains Barcelona’s only defeat at the Nou Camp since September 2016 and many of the qualities Setien’s side showed that day are what convinced the Barcelona board he was the man to replace Ernesto Valverde.

“Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this,” the 61-year-old said at his first press conference. “I have to thank the club. I’m excited about this challenge and this project.

“Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I’m here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world.”

Setien is a self-confessed disciple of Johan Cruyff — the legendary manager who gave Barcelona its footballing identity — and in brief but scintillating spells, his Betis side was unplayable.

Two captivating years in Andalucia were bookmarked by a remarkable 5-3 win over bitter city rival Sevilla, two victories against Real Madrid and that stunning defeat of Barcelona.

Those victories meant he became the first manager to win away at both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the same season since 2003.

But when the team wasn’t at its swashbuckling best, Setien was able to mold Betis into a solid, cohesive unit that would eventually finish as high as sixth in La Liga.

His second season in charge was a frustrating one, as the club languished for much of it in the bottom half…



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