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  • Barcelona new Coach Ernesto Valverde


Barcelona have confirmed the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as their new coach.

Former Athletic Bilbao boss Valverde replaces Luis Enrique and has signed a two-year contract, with the option for an additional year included.

Luis Enrique, who announced that he would leave in March, took charge of the last game of his three-year tenure as Barcelona beat Alaves 3-1 to win the Copa del Rey on Saturday.

“Ernesto Valverde is the new coach of Barcelona. I have spoken personally with him this afternoon, telling him of our decision and he said he was very happy and looking forward to the challenge of coaching Barca,” president Joseph Maria Bartomeu said on Monday.

“Valverde has the knowledge and experience we were looking for and he loves youth football. He has a special style and a philosophy which is similar to Barca’s. He’s a very hard worker, he coaches the way we like to coach. … There are many reasons why we chose him.

“He will be presented on Thursday. [Sporting director] Robert Fernandez has been working hard over the last few months, it’s demanding work [finding a new coach] and any questions you can ask him on Thursday at the presentation.”

Valverde has long been reported to be the front-runner to succeed him, and the 53-year-old joins less than a week after Athletic confirmed that he would not renew his contract.

Jon Aspiazu, who has worked with Valverde for 15 years, arrives as his assistant coach, and there will be more additions to the backroom after the majority of Luis Enrique’s staff left for Celta Vigo.