Quique Setien was excited. Very excited. He was basically gob-smacked. Because the dream of his professional life had become a reality. He's going to coach Barcelona. He's going to manage Lionel Messi. And he's going to sit on the same bench where Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola sat before him. The ex-Real Betis coach was full of excitement and confidence in his presentation as Ernesto Valverde's substitute.
And he sent a hopeful message to all Barça fans: "I can guarantee that my team will play good football." That promise to be loyal to Cyuyff's ideas is more than a strong enough argument to believe in the new Blaugrana boss. It seems president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes, handing him a two-and-a-half-year deal. Although there are two break clauses: after the first six months (so, at the end of the season) and in June of 2021, when the new president, whoever wins the elections, will be free to choose his own coach.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Setien sent other stimulating messages: his "complete predisposition" to bet on the academy, his dire to generate "new stimulus" for a dressing room that's won it all and his decision to focus more on philosophy than a formation. The excitement was reflected permanently on his face, who went from "walking past the cows in my village" on Monday to having the task of revitalising a group of 'sacred cows'. That joke serves, in one way, to highlight the tough job that awaits him. A job that, without doubt, he will tackle without fear. Because he has nothing to lose. At 61, and without a great CV (as he said himself), with no major honours to his name, he's betting everything on winning with style. His big chance is here. And he's not thinking about letting it pass him by.