Barcelona Different accounts of the story

Setien, Bartomeu and Abidal
Setien, Bartomeu and Abidal AFP

The announcement of Quique Setien as the new coach of Barcelona caught many off guard, not least the new boss himself, which throws into question club president Josep Maria Bartomeu‘s account of when he got in contact with Ernesto Valverde‘s replacement.

Xavi Hernandez was the first on the list, and this was proven as Oscar Grau and Eric Abidal travelled to Qatar to propose the job to the former Barcelona captain, only to leave with a refusal.

The same answer was given by current Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman and, due to his allegiances with Barcelona rivals Espanyol, Mauricio Pochettino.

In the press conference on Tuesday, the president acknowledged that they had been talking to several coaches for some time because the board was foreseeing certain problems with Valverde.

“We contacted many coaches, including Setien,” said Bartomeu before passing the microphone to the man himself.

“Yesterday I was walking with the cows in my town and today I am coaching Barcelona,” said Setien.

The former Real Betis man went on to say that it was a surprise that the Catalan club contacted him the day before his announcement and didn’t hesitate when he received the offer.

However, these words contradict Bartomeu‘s account of the situation.

What seems certain is that Setien was not one of the first names on Abidal‘s list after having contacted Xavi, Koeman and Pochettino beforehand, as well as having considered the option of Barcelona B coach Garcia Pimienta.