It’s not every day you get to manage one of the greatest players ever in world football but for new Barcelona boss Quique Setien, his dream is about to come true.
Setien has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Barcelona, replacing Ernesto Valverde as manager on Monday night after he was sacked for failing to lead the club back to the top of Europe’s table.
And it appears that the former Real Betis manager, who was a former target of Watford before they appointed Nigel Pearson, is relishing the chance to manage six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.
“It’s a luxury to be in the same era as Messi.”
While managing Real Betis, Setien lauded the Argentine icon for his magical displays down the years – and inevitably the video has since been doing the rounds on social media.
Setien said: ‘I have seen some great players doing wonderful things, but being so decisive for so long over 12 or 14 years as a professional, I think no player, maybe only Pele in his time, has shown that level.
‘He shows it in every game. I don’t know how many hat-tricks he’s had.
‘It’s a luxury to be in the same era as him, seeing him every Sunday for 12 or 14 years. He is very good.’
Barcelona chased the 55-year-old manager after being turned down by club legend Xavi.
Ernesto Valverde was sacked on Monday by Barcelona, before being replaced by Setien
Mauricio Pochettino is highly regarded by president Josep Bartomeu but was always an unlikely contender having previously said he would rather ‘work on a farm’ than coach the rivals of his former club Espanyol.
Setien got Betis into the Europa League two seasons ago playing a Barca-like style of football.
At the end of last season he was sacked having failed to build on the previous campaign but he retained support among Barcelona supporters for famously saying that it was not enough to win; he wanted to win playing a certain style of football.
Setien will be officially unveiled at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, in the Presidents Suite at 1:30pm CET in a private event, the club confirmed.