Chess player. Beach footballer. Meet new Barcelona manager Quique Setien | Soccer
Quique Setien is the new man in the hot seat at Camp Nou and has certainly had an interesting career in his rise to the top of football.
The Catalan giants were quick to name the former Real Betis coach after sacking Ernesto Valverde on Monday and he is sure to make an impact with his maverick experiences.
At the top of the La Liga table, Barca still had to take a step further, a move many considered a year too late.
During those twelve months, Setien has been closely linked with the Spanish powers, as well as Watford more curiously, having impressed Betis, guiding the Greens and Whites to a top six and the Europa League.
His credentials are there for everyone, but it’s some of his quirks that really catch the eye.
It has been said that some tactical battles in the modern era have become like a game of chess and for Setien it certainly is.
After admitting that he often prefers to play the board game rather than watch the occasional football, he even hired chess champions Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, and uses this know-how on the training ground. .
“I like the order,” he said, according to TheseFootballTimes. “It’s fundamental. Chess and football are similar, the pieces are related to attack and defense. It is vital to dominate the center of the painting.
While the Queen is the most powerful chess piece, Setien has been endowed with the King of Football and will seek to use Lionel Messi to take down every opponent.
Previously admitting that he will “cry forever” when Barca’s superhuman number 10 hangs up his boots, for now, he can enjoy it every day.
In addition, he was a beach footballer before inscribing his name in the folklore of Racing Santander, his native club.
Representing Spain on the sand, the midfielder also won three caps on the grass, even going until the 1986 World Cup where he had to settle for a place on the bench.
Nicknamed “El Maestro” after twelve years of service for Racing over two periods as a player, he also won the Spanish Super Cup with Atletico Madrid.
Now 61, he rose through the ranks of the managerial pyramid after leading Racing at the turn of the century, guiding the club towards promotion to La Liga.
Spells with Equatorial Guinea and Las Palmas followed before he really proved himself with Betis, even beating Barcelona in their own backyard last season.
Seeing his work for themselves obviously persuaded the hierarchy that he was their man despite ties to former players Xavi and Ronald Koeman, as well as Roberto Martinez and Mauricio Pochettino who played for local rivals from the Espanyol.
While he will now look to win over his new charges and prove himself again, he already has a fan in midfielder Sergio Busquets.
The Spain international is clearly a fan of Setien’s taste for creativity and smooth, fluid football as he sent the manager a signed shirt after the two faced off in 2018.
“To Quique with appreciation and admiration for the way you view football. A hug,” the post read.
Leaving the Estadio Benito Villamarin last May, he arrives refreshed and ready to share his conscious approach.