Tag Archives: setien

Bartomeu confirms Setien will definitely continue as Barca Coach next season

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Bartomeu claims that Setien will coach Barcelona next season in an interview with RAC1.

“Setien will continue to coach Barca and I am happy with the evolution of the team.” said Bartomeu.

“I have not considered resigning. On the contrary, it is time to get ready and work hard.

“Leo has said many times that he wants to retire at Barça. I have no doubt that he will retire at Barça. And not with me, but with another president.

“It’s evident that we have an obligation to renew Messi, the best player in history. He has many years of football left.

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“I don’t know if I3Ventures had clients who were campaigning against independence. They did a job for Barcelona and did it well. There is still work to be done.

“No one has given any instructions to defame anyone. And the audit says that very clearly. The players know that. The report is very clear.

“Many of them [defamatory tweets] are fakes. It is very difficult to know who is behind it. I wish there was a regulation. I think the authorities should go one step further. But it has become clear here that Barça have not done anything wrong.

“”I’m very much in favor of the VAR and the club are as well, but today it seems to me that the application of the VAR isn’t fair and that it’s even less so since the return of football.”

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Bartomeu holds conference call with Barcelona captains


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“I don’t feel insecure’ Setien on his future at Barcelona

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Quique Setien was in no mood to speculate about his future after Barcelona’s latest slip up against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Catalans drew for the third time in four games, giving Real Madrid a huge advantage in the title race ahead of their game against Getafe.

“I don’t feel at all under threat,” Setien said afterwards when asked about his position.

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Looking at the result and game as a whole, Setien acknowledged that his side are struggling.

“It’s a shame,” he reflected, “we’re having more and more difficulties.

“Leaving these points behind means we’re moving further away from the title.

“But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team.”

Riqui Puig was given a start at the Camp Nou as Setien sought to surprise Diego Simeone.

“We tried to do some different things,’ he explained.

“We thought we would benefit.

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“Atletico defend very well, close the space and commit you.”

Even despite dropping points again, Setien wasn’t overly disappointed with his players’ performances.

“I’m quite happy with them,” he said.

“It’s true that we haven’t been able to win, but at times we controlled the game well.

“It’s not easy against this team. They’re disciplined.

“I’m quite happy with my players’ work.

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Barcelona players turns against Setien -Sources


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Happy New Month!!!

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Barcelona players turns against Setien -Sources

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Barcelona manager Quique Setien’s relationship with his players is already showing signs of straining, with various sources having told NobleSports they didn’t click from day one.


Barca led La Liga in January when Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked after the Spanish Supercopa defeat to Atletico Madrid in Saudi Arabia. However, Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo, coupled with Real Madrid’s win at Espanyol on Sunday, saw them fall two points behind Zinedine Zidane’s side at the top of the table with just six games to be played.At Barca, it’s Messi, Pique who hold power


Setien signed a contract with Barca until 2022 — with a get-out clause in 2021 if the newly elected president does not want him to continue — but results and performances have quickly seen him lose credit with the players and the board of directors.

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Luis Suarez appeared to deflect the blame on to Setien in Vigo on Saturday. Asked to explain Barca’s poor away form, he told the reporter the players were giving everything on the pitch and that “managers are there for a reason.”
On Monday, Setien tried to play down Suarez’s comments in his news conference ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid. He said: “These little controversies will always exist. Everyone has their own way of seeing things. It’s normal.


“I wasn’t an easy player, either. We have to convince the players that the common idea is what’s important. The communication between us is good and I don’t give it any importance.
“When you don’t win, because of an isolated play at a certain moment, like the foul for Celta’s equaliser, everyone sharpens the knives. This is the circus we’re involved in. But the relationship we have with the players is good. It’s true there are sometimes disagreements, but I don’t see any problems worthy of talking about.”


Meanwhile, images over the weekend emerged of Lionel Messi giving Setien’s assistant, Eder Sarabia, the cold shoulder in the second half at Balaidos. During the drinks break, Sarabia twice tried to relay information to Messi, but the Argentina captain walked away from him on both occasions.

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Sarabia previously made headlines in March, when he drew criticism for his language and touchline demeanour during the 2-0 loss to Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sources have told ESPN that despit

Setien’s best efforts, he and his coaching staff have struggled to win round the players, many of whom supported Valverde, since taking charge.
Sarabia often leads training sessions, where there has also been conflict. He demands intensity at all times, which has generated moments of tension, forcing Setien to become a firefighter.

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Elsewhere, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has preferred to work with Jose Ramon de la Fuente as his goalkeeper coach instead of Jon Pascua, who arrived with Setien in January. The Germany international has a great relationship with De La Fuente, which has raised questions about the need for two goalkeeping coaches.
More recently, the doubts the players maintain have extended to the board.


President Josep Maria Bartomeu replaced Valverde with the hope of triggering an attitude change among the squad.

But results and performances have left a lot to be desired.
Setien has overseen 17 games since taking charge, winning 11 of them, including all eight at Camp Nou, but results away from home and the level of performances have increased concerns in his ability to manage the club.
Of the 11 wins, seven have been by one goal, with Barca struggling to make the most of their possession. Meanwhile, they have won just three times on the road, failing to at Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Napoli, Madrid, Sevilla and Celta.


A stoppage-time goal was needed to beat third-tier Ibiza in the Copa del Rey. That was followed by a 2-0 defeat to Valencia at Mestalla, when Setien played with three centre-backs. Those performances were put down to teething problems, but that didn’t prevent criticism. After losing to Valencia, Setien said it was just “one loss.”.

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The Copa del Rey elimination to Athletic, despite an encouraging performance, added to the worries and a source said the substitutions in March’s loss to Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu revealed Setien’s lack of understanding of his squad as Barca dropped off dramatically physically in the final third of the game.


Barca no longer analyse upcoming opponents live — restricting themselves to video analysis — and a source inside the dressing room told ESPN it feels as though they are creating their own problems by not working on positional play in training.

Barca are finding it difficult to create and score at times.Setien was not Barca’s first choice in January. He was appointed after sporting director Eric Abidal and CEO Oscar Grau failed to convince Xavi Hernandez to take the job during a trip to Qatar. Xavi rejected the job because the timing was not right.
Another coaching change has not been ruled out if Barca fail to deliver in La Liga or the Champions League this season.

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Setien defends his decision to bench Griezmann


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Setien defends his decision to bench Griezmann

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Quique Setién left Antoine Griezmann out of his starting XI against Celta and insisted that he never looks at a player’s price tag when selecting his team.

Barcelona coach Quique Setién said he had no interest in a player’s market value when selecting his team after being asked why he left Antoine Griezmann on the subs’ bench in Saturday’s meeting with Celta Vigo. Griezmann, who set Barcelona back 120 million euros when he joined from Atlético Madrid last year, was introduced late in the game as the visitors were held to a 2-2 draw in Vigo on Saturday.

Setién defended his decision to leave Griezmann, who has scored 14 goals in 42 games this season, out of the XI. “I don’t take into consideration the player’s price tag,” he told a news conference. “Last week we chose one specific team, and today we decided on another one. Last week you asked me why Ansu Fati wasn’t playing, why Riqui Puig wasn’t playing and today why Griezmann isn’t playing. These are decisions I make and they are technical decisions. They’re not made rashly, and they are done with the best of intentions for the team.”

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Aspas denies Barcelona all three points
Lionel Messi set up two goals for Luis Suárez, but Iago Aspas’ 88th-minute equaliser saw Barça held.

Setién’s men are a point clear of Real Madrid, who have the chance to return to the top of the table and secure a two-point lead if they can beat Espanyol in Cornellà later today.

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Quique Setien passes strict warning to Griezmann after Celta’s clash


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Quique Setien passes strict warning to Griezmann after Celta’s clash

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Barcelona coach Quique Setien has warned Antoine Griezmann that his price tag means little when it comes to picking the team and hinted that the French forward was at fault for Celta Vigo’s late equaliser on Saturday.

Griezmann started on the bench in Barca’s 2-2 draw at Balaidos in LaLiga as Setien preferred Ansu Fati on the left and the former Atletico attacker only came on for the last nine minutes to replace Luis Suarez.

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Asked why he had left the 29-year-old out, Setien said: “I don’t look at whether the signings are expensive or cheap.

“Last week we opted for one lineup and this week another. Last week you asked me why Ansu didn’t play and this week Griezmann.

Griezmann was stood at the end of a defensive wall as Iago Aspas curled a ball around the Barca players and into the bottom corner two minutes from time, giving goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen no chance.


Antoine Griezmann appeared only as a late substitute for Barcelona against Celta Vigo at Balaidos (Getty Images)
“The last goal they scored, a player jumped and the ball went in there,” Setien said.

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‘There’s no declaration that Authur is leaving’ – Setien

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Barcelona face Celta Vigo at Balaidos on Saturday night, but Quique Setien had to deal with a series of questions about Arthur Melo.

The Brazilian is seemingly very close to joining Juventus, yet the Barcelona boss still has the 23-year-old in his plans.

“In principle I’m counting on him,” Setien said of Arthur.

“He’s going to travel [to Vigo] and has a chance to play tomorrow.

“The important thing is that this does not affect him and that, if he plays, he is at his best.”

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In spite of the overwhelming reports about Arthur departing, the coach hasn’t received any news from those upstairs at the club.

“I don’t take that for granted,” Setien stated.

“The club haven’t informed me that he’s leaving.

“And even if it has already happened, he’s going to stay with us until the final training session [of the season].

“If that happens, I’ll try to convince him that he should leave a good memory.

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“The most important thing is to be honest until the last day and I’m convinced that he is.”

Given how Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig positively impacted Barcelona’s 1-0 win against Athletic Club on Tuesday, there are more and more calls from supporters for the two La Masia products to play more.

“I don’t pay much attention to everything that is said and talked about because there are so many opinions and so varied, that few people agree on,” Setien said.

“I usually listen, but there are other issues that influence me more when it comes to deciding.

“They are objective questions about what I see and believe.”

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Real Madrid are the favourites in the race to lift LaLiga Santander as, despite being level on points with Barcelona, they have the head-to-head advantage.

“I still believe it’s possible,” Setien commented.

“It’s hard for both of us to win everything.

“They’re in a good place in lots of things – so are we.

“I hope they make a mistake and we catch them.”

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Barcelona will come up against Rafinha Alcantara on Saturday, who is on loan at Celta until the end of this season, and Setien is a fan.

“He’s playing very well, at a great level, just like his team,” he said.

“As soon as the team lifted its spirit, each player began to show what they are capable of.

“There are players at Celta that I like a lot.

“When they link up, it immediately affects the team’s performance.”

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Don’t panic!, Madrid won’t win all their games either

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Quique Setien is remaining optimistic over Barcelona’s title chances in LaLiga Santander.

The Blaugrana’s draw at Sevilla on Friday night opens the door for Real Madrid to take top spot later this weekend.

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Gerard Pique spoke negatively about the result after the game and its impact on Barcelona’s title push.

“It’s the frustration of the moment,” Setien said when asked about Pique’s comments.

“Especially because we played well in the first half.

“Maybe the feeling right now isn’t a positive one, but I’m sure he’ll think differently tomorrow.

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“I don’t think Real Madrid are going to win all their games either.

“The reality is that it doesn’t depend on us anymore, but this can change.

“We knew beforehand that it would be very difficult to win every game – it was practically impossible.

“It’s not that I’m satisfied with only getting a point, but it’s the lesser of two evils.”

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It’s probably impossible Barca wins all games – Setien


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It’s probably impossible Barca wins all games – Setien

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Barcelona have nine matches remaining in the LaLiga Santander season and will definitely be champions if they win them all, however coach Quique Setien doesn’t think that is likely.

The coach admitted that points could be dropped somewhere along the way.

“I think it’s unlikely,” he said during a press conference on Thursday when asked about the possibility of taking 27 points from the 27 available.

“The team is capable of it, though.

“The reality right now is that we’ve won two matches since the restart, with six goals scored and none conceded.

“That’s good and better than other teams.

“But it’s difficult to win every point.

“It’s difficult, but it is possible.”

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It’ll be tricky when Barcelona go away to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan on Friday night, even without Sevilla’s noisy support.

“That might benefit us, but it’ll depend on how the game goes,” Setien said of the closed doors factor.

“It’s true that the fans at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan push the team on a lot.

“We’re playing the third-placed team away and it will be difficult.

“We’ll have to have a great game.

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“Winning it would be great for our confidence, but of course that wouldn’t be definitive in terms of the title race.”

One of the highlights from the win over Leganes on Tuesday was the performance off the bench of Riqui Puig and Setien was asked about the 20-year-old.

“I congratulated him for the minutes he had the other day,” Setien said.

“It’s a shame he couldn’t score.

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“He came on and was active and I’ll be keeping him in mind for the future.

“If he deserves them then he’ll be given more minutes.”

Another big talking point of the press conference was the new format with which the 2019/20 Champions League will be completed.

“I think it’s worse, but for all teams and not just Barcelona,” the coach said of the fact that matches are set to be played in Lisbon and as single-leg ties.

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“With two legs you can fix an accident.

“But this is what UEFA has decided and we must adapt.

“There are many new circumstances and this is just another one.

“[As for the pending second leg vs Napoli], we’d like to play that at our stadium because otherwise there is an advantage for the opponent since they got to play the first leg in their stadium and with fans.”

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Setien defends Griezmann and shuns Fans criticism


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Setien defends Griezmann and shuns Fans criticism

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Barcelona coach Quique Setien has defended Antoine Griezmann after the French forward’s disappointing display against Mallorca on Saturday.

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The 29-year-old worked hard to win the ball back, but offered little in attack in the 4-0 win and was substituted with just over half an hour left as Luis Suarez was brought on.

That change saw February signing Martin Braithwaite stay on instead and Griezmann was pictured with a stern look on his face after he was taken off.

“Griezmann is unquestionable,” Setien said in a press conference on Monday. “He has played since I have been here.

“There are more players now and we have to share out the minutes.

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“Griezmannis a great footballer and he will continue to have protagonism because he is an important player for this club.”

And he added: “I have already said that here, the only ones who have hierarchy for a starting spot are the ones who have earned it with their work over many years with the team

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Setien yet to decide if Suarez will be starting games

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Barcelona coach Quique Setien has not yet decided whether their Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is ready to return to the starting line-up when they host Leganes in La Liga on Tuesday.

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Setien started Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and February recruit Martin Braithwaite in the 4-0 win at Real Mallorca over the weekend while Suarez, who was fit again after injury, came off the bench for a 30-minute cameo in the second half.

Suarez, who has scored 11 league goals this season, was initially set to miss the majority of the campaign after undergoing knee surgery in January before the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

“I’ve not decided if Luis Suarez will start tomorrow, I have to talk to him,” Setien told reporters in a virtual news conference on Monday. “We have to be very cautious, it’s normal to have muscular injuries after a long injury layoff.

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“Griezmann has played almost every game. It’s true that there are more players now and the minutes will have to be shared… Griezmann will continue to play a leading role, he is an important player.

“Except in very specific cases due to their hierarchy, I don’t consider players to be starters or substitutes. I want everyone to participate… Any player can be on the pitch from the beginning.”

Setien said rotation would be key as the fixture crunch would lead to player fatigue.

“The idea is to make changes and there will be changes as the games go by,” he added. “We will see how fatigue affects the players.

“My job is to try and get them all to the end of the season in the best condition so that the performance is not affected by the minutes.”

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Barcelona lead Real Madrid by two points with 10 games to go and Setien said there was no room for error in the title race.

“I don’t know what factor will be the most decisive in La Liga,” the 61-year-old added. “What we have to do is win.

“It’s going to be a fight in which we both know that losing is unacceptable.”

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Rotations to be made in upcoming Leganes match – Setien

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Barcelona coach Quique Setien has insisted that he will make full use of the entire squad in the remaining 2019/20 LaLiga Santander fixtures.

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Setien used all five of his substitutions in Barcelona’s 4-0 win against Mallorca on Saturday, and it seems he intends to stick to this strategy as much as possible.

“The idea is to make changes, and there will be changes as the games go on,” Setien said at press conference ahead of Barcelona’s Tuesday night match against Leganes.

“We’ll see how fatigue affects the players, I want to get to the end with the necessary freshness so that performance is not affected by the minutes.

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“We will see how the championship develops and how the players recover from the effort.

“We have to avoid injuries and ensure the players arrive to games fresh.”

Setien is wary of the challenge posed by Leganes, who are currently in the relegation spots in 19th place.

“It’s possible that the match will be complicated,” Setien added.

“For Leganes it’s an opportunity to get points to help them reach safety.

“But we also need the points to keep hold of our advantage at the top.”

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Despite continued criticisms over Antoine Griezmann’s performances since joining Barcelona, Setien is keeping faith in the Frenchman.

“He’s indisputable, he’s played almost every minute since I came here,” Setien remarked.

“Now there are more players and we have to spread out the minutes.

“We’ll see how the championship evolves and what we need.

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“He’s a great player and we’re counting on him.

“He will continue to play a leading role. He is an important player for the club and for the team.”

Messi turned in yet another star performance against Mallorca and ended up assisting twice and getting a last-minute goal for himself.

“He’s good, we shouldn’t just praise him for the amount of goals he scores, which is impressive, but all the other contributions makes too, such as assists,” Setien said of the Argentinian.

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“The other day he got two [assists] again. It helps us get a lot of points.

“The figure of 20 goals is astronomical. I think he’s scored more than 700 goals in his career now and that’s why he’s the best in the world.”

The fixture against Leganes will be Barcelona’s first game at the Camp Nou since the lockdown began back in March and playing without fans is another challenge Setien and his charges will have to face.

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“I don’t know how much it might affect us,” the coach commented. “We’d rather have fans there, but we know that’s not possible and we have to adapt.”

“Let’s hope it doesn’t affect us and we play a good game and win.

“I’d rather do it with an audience, without them you lose part of your essence.

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“But it’s what we have to do and we have to adapt.”

Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is one of a number of Barcelona players being linked with summer moves away from Camp Nou, but he scored the first goal against Mallorca and Setien has stressed how important the player is for the team.

“He is a very interesting player, he has a qualities that are always necessary in any team,” Setien added.

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“He gives a lot of energy in addition to his physicality.

“We were lucky that he scored a goal and he put the game in our hands.

“He played a good game in general. I was very satisfied with his performance.”

Barcelona have a slender lead at the top of the table and with ten fixtures left the title could be decided by the smallest of margins.

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“I don’t know what is the most decisive thing,” Setien replied when asked about what could determine the title race. “What you have to do is win.”

“There will be circumstances that will alter this and force us to react.

“It’s going to be a fight in which we both think that we cannot mess up.

“Let’s hope that the distance between us is enough.

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“There are a lot of things we can’t control in this month we have left.”

Setien has been impressed by the attitude and desire shown by his squad since they returned to training, an aspect which could be vital in helping Barcelona win the LaLiga Santander 2019/20 title.

“I was very surprised at how well all the players behaved when they came back and at the attitude they shown since returning,” Setien commented.

“Morale has been very good. I had a hard time deciding on the first line-up.

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“I hope to manage it well and try to get things right in each game.”

Recent signing Martin Braithwaite got his first goal for Barcelona against Mallorca and will look for more against his former side Leganes on Tuesday.

“With the exception of a few players, due to hierarchy and status, nobody is a starter or substitute,” Setien said of Braithwaite’s chances of lining up against Leganes.

“Just because you play one game doesn’t mean you play the second one.

“There will be rotations. I want everyone to participate and to show that spark and enthusiasm.

Real Madrid got their title race off to a good start by beating Eibar 3-0 and will be waiting for Barcelona to slip up. Setien is adamant that Barcelona can only think about themselves.

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“There are many things you cannot control,” Setien said. “Yesterday three centimetres is a valid goal or it’s not.”

“And these factors no team can control, one day things go for you and another day against.

“They are details that nobody can control.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made his comeback all the sweeter by managing a clean sheet in the Estadio San Moix. The keeper seemed to show very little signs of post-lockdown rust.

“Marc has been very good, but making a mistake is always a possibility,” Setien said of his keeper.

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“It’s not easy to come back without having had much contact with the ball and without the responsibility of a game.

“Not only have I seen it in certain goalkeepers make mistakes they don’t normally make, but also in players.

“I’ve seen it in my team and in others.”

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez came off the bench on Saturday night to make his first appearance for Barcelona since January. Setien is keen to use the forward more but doesn’t want to push him too early.

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“I haven’t decided if he’s going to start,” Setien said about Suarez chances of making the starting XI.

“He could be a starter or come off the bench again.”

“We have to be cautious, it’s common to have muscle problems after a long injury.

“Any problem has to be solved because I don’t want to lose a player for not resting one.

“You have to go little by little.”

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Setien Shows excitement ‘Seeing Suarez and braitwaite on play’

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Barcelona were unstoppable at Mallorca on Saturday evening, but the result wasn’t what pleased Quique Setien the most.

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The Catalan club hit the ground, running after LaLiga Santander’s restart with a 4-0 win and opening the scoring after just 65 seconds.

But it was Luis Suarez’s return to the pitch, as a second half substitute, that gave the coach the most joy.

“I think the satisfaction of seeing Luis Suarez on the pitch again,” Setien responded when asked what he would take from the game.

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“On top of that there’s the performance he gave us in his 30 or 35 minutes.

“He did four, five or six things to a very high level.

“He’s an important player for us.

“[Martin] Braithwaite’s goal and performance, too.

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“It’s a big day for him.”

The game was, of course, played behind closed doors and, while Setien doesn’t know how much that affects the players, he’s clear that he’d rather have fans at the Camp Nou than not.

“The fans can influence things,” he added.

“For and against you.

“I wouldn’t know to what extent it impacts us playing away from home, but at home I’d rather have them.

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“You can receive support in moments of doubt with your fans.”

Ronald Araujo impressed in central defence alongside Gerard Pique, pleasing the boss.

“He played a superb game,” Setien beamed.

“He dealt with everything well and he didn’t try to do more than he had to.

“He can be proud of his performance and his first start.”

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In all, the 61-year-old leaves the Balearic Islands happy with how his team got back to work.

“We’ve seen a lot of the things we always try to do,” he said.

“We did a lot of what we had prepared.

“We gave them a chance at times, but I’m generally very happy with what I saw.”

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Setien benches Suarez and starts Braitwaite

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Quique Setien has decided to leave Luis Suarez on the bench at the start of Barcelona’s La Liga clash with Mallorca on Saturday. He wants the Uruguayan to get back into action bit by bit after his January knee operation.

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Setien will likely start with Griezmann, Messi and Braithwaite up front although Ansu Fati could also be involved.

Suarez has been given medical clearance and is raring to go, but it makes sense for him to come back step by step. Expect to see him appear as a substitute later.

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‘We won’t win in this way’ – Setien reponds to Courtois over La Liga TITLe claim

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Barcelona coach Quique Setien recognised on Tuesday in a videoconference organised by the club that he wants tournaments to be resumed if they can be.

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“I wouldn’t like to win the title in this way,” said Setien, whose team are top of the table. “It’s common sense that the league table stays as it is (if the campaign cannot be completed).”

Barca have two more points than Real Madrid – 58 to 56.

~Quique Setien

“However the reality is that everyone would like to finish the season and win it all playing all the games, the same as the Champions League.”

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had said that it would not be fair if Barca were champions because his side had drawn with and beaten them this season, “showing they were the better team”.


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‘Messi & Barcelona will always be united’ – Setien

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Quique Setien has expressed his belief that Lionel Messi and Barcelona “will always be united”, while dismissing rumours of a potential move to Inter for the Argentine superstar.

Messi continues to set unprecedented standards of excellence at Camp Nou at the age of 32, and has shown no sign of slowing down as he approaches the latter stages of his illustrious career.

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The diminutive magician has contributed 24 goals and 16 assists to Barca’s cause in 31 outings across all competitions this season, helping them return to the La Liga summit while also reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Blaugrana have won 10 La Liga titles and four European Cups with Messi leading their charge, and he was awarded a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019 after enjoying another outstanding year.

The Argentina international has spent the last 16 years at Camp Nou, but there is a clause in his current contract which permits him to leave at the end of any season should he choose to do so.

A number of off-field issues have overshadowed Barca’s latest campaign, with a public spat between Messi and sporting director Eric Abidal over Ernesto Valverde’s sacking in January marking the lowest point for the club.

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It has been reported that a prized asset is ready to call time on a historic spell in Catalunya when the transfer market reopens due to all the controversy, with Inter mooted as a possible next destination.

However, Setien – the man who succeeded Valverde at the start of the year – has rejected any notion of Messi moving onto pastures new before he hangs up his boots.

The Barca boss told Gazzetta dello Sport: “He will free from Barca? No, it won’t happen. Messi and Barcelona will always be united. It’s just like that. Leo has been at Barca for twenty years and nobody could explain a breakdown situation”.

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Setien also weighed in on speculation linking Barca with Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz, a player he coached for a brief spell while in charge of Real Betis.

“I was with him for a year and it was enough to show that he was a great player, of extraordinary level, he had enormous potential and he pulled him out very quickly,” he added on Ruiz.

“He was comfortable with me because I put him in a football context that did him good.”


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Setien Rules Out Barcelona Target “Neymar”

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Barcelona boss Quique Setien has ruled out the possibility of Neymar returning to the club from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window.

Neymar joined Barca from Santos as a promising youngster back in 2013, and quickly managed to live up to his potential alongside a whole host of world-class players at Camp Nou.

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The Brazilian attacker won eight major trophies during his time at Camp Nou, including two La Liga titles and the Champions League, while combining with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form the most deadly front three in European football.

However, Neymar eventually grew tired of sharing the limelight at Barca, and completed a world record €222 million (£194m/$243m) move to PSG in 2017, with a view to finally adding an elusive Ballon d’Or award to his trophy collection.

Unfortunately, injuries and disciplinary issues have overshadowed his time in the French capital, while Kylian Mbappe has arguably moved ahead of him as the most important member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

Neymar expressed regret over his decision to leave Barca last year, and sought to retrace his steps at the end of the 2018-19 season.

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PSG and Barca were ultimately unable to agree on a final fee, but the 28-year-old continues to be linked with a move back to Camp Nou, with Antoine Griezmann currently failing to live up to expectations in Catalunya.

Setien has also had to make do without injured duo Suarez and Ousmane Dembele this year, and has been tipped to strengthen his squad when the transfer market reopens.

The Spanish coach is adamant that Barca will not be forking out mega money for Neymar though, given the potential financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“€222 million for him? No. I don’t think there is anyone who can spend that much,” Setien told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“And small clubs have water in their throats. Many of them lived to the limit and at the first serious jolt they went into crisis. Football lived at an uncontrolled pace.”

One man who could be on his way out of Camp Nou later in the year is Arthur, with Goal reporting that Juventus have been in contact with Barca to discuss a potential transfer.

A swap deal involving Miralem Pjanic has been mooted, but Setien refused to be drawn on speculation when asked to discuss any ongoing negotiations behind the scenes.

“I speak very often with my managers and nobody has ever told me anything about it,” he said. “Among other things, Arthur has already said twice that he wants to stay at Barca and I understand him perfectly. In his place I would think like him: I would not leave a team like this, with the chance to have the best player in the world alongside him. And a great coach!

“Pjanic is another excellent player, but today it is risky to talk about the market.”


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Setien wants to kill his words from last week about Barca youth academy


Barcelona coach Setien wanted to kill his words from last week about the club’s youth academy. He had said that “until now, they haven’t convinced me,” regarding the young players like Riqui Puig or Collado.

However in an interview with Onda Cero, he changed his stance.

“I don’t think that I’m not a doubter of the kids, I’ve played them when I think they can give me better performance than the professionals might have,” he explained.


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Setien: Messi may leave if Barcelona don’t have a winning project


Barcelona coach Quique Setién revealed in an interview with El Transistor on Onda Cero that he only found out recently that Leo Messi can leave at the end of the season if he wants to.

“If Messi didn’t have it clearly in his head that Barcelona have a winning project, maybe he would go, but Barcelona are always looking to have a winning project,” said Setien.

Asked about if Barcelona could win the league without playing again he said: “I think that’s complicated, while things aren’t cleared up and I prefer to stay at home. If it has to be ended then the most normal thing would be to leave it as it is, but I would not feel like a champion.”


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Setien: I’m not pessimistic or optimistic about potentially signing Lautaro


Barca head coach Quique Setien said he was neither “pessimistic or optimistic” about potentially signing Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez, 22, is linked with a move to the La Liga giants after scoring 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season.

Barcelona are also reportedly interested in bringing Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Setien was unsure about Barca’s chances of signing Martinez, while saying the coronavirus pandemic would impact transfers.

“We talk about transfers, but this pandemic is going to condition many things. The situation of the clubs will be economically complicated,” he told Onda Cero on Sunday.

“I am not pessimistic or optimistic with Lautaro. I like how I like great footballers, but I have no illusions with any.”

The La Liga season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic with Barcelona holding a two-point lead with 11 games left to play.

Setien, 61, would like to complete the campaign, although admitted it would be tough with Covid-19 having killed more than 164,000 people worldwide, with Spain’s death toll exceeding 20,400.

“We all want the championship to end even if it is behind closed doors,” he said. “But I would like to be guaranteed that there would be no problem.”

Setien added: “I see it difficult to resume the championship. Until some light is seen, I prefer to stay at home.”

The Spanish manager became Barcelona’s coach in January following the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde.

However, he was close to joining an Egyptian club before the Blaugrana came calling following seven months out of work after leaving Real Betis.

“Days before Barcelona called me, I was about to leave to coach in Egypt,” Setien told El Larguero as per Marca.

“I would’ve coached Barcelona for free. Well, maybe not for free, but in almost any circumstance.”


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Setien: If I have to leave and Xavi comes in, then it’s not a problem


Quique Setien has admitted that he won’t have a problem with being replaced as Barcelona coach.

The former Las Palmas and Real Betis boss was appointed as Ernesto Valverde’s successor in January, only after Xavi Hernandez rejected the job.


“Let’s hope Xavi [eventually] comes and that he does very well,” Setien told El Larguero.

“I’ve admired Xavi and every great player.

“If I have to go and he comes in, then it’s not a problem. That’s the world of coaching.”


Setien also revealed that he was slightly surprised to be asked to take over at the Camp Nou.

“Days before Barcelona called me, I was about to leave to coach in Egypt,” he said.


“I would’ve coached Barcelona for free. Well, maybe not for free, but in almost any circumstance.”

Josep Maria Bartomeu was criticised for the way he went about appointing Valverde’s successor, but Setien has no problems with the president.


“I hope he completes his term,” he commented.

“I have a great relationship with him. We speak quite often.

“He’s explained [the situation with the board] to me and the players… we believe him.”


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Setien plays down Rakitic rumours: I have no information that he wants to leave.


Quique Setien insisted Ivan Rakitic had not asked to leave Barcelona, while he said it was too soon to discuss Philippe Coutinho’s future.

Out of contract in 2021, Rakitic recently criticised the La Liga club’s treatment of him as the Croatia midfielder seemingly nears an exit.


Barcelona head coach Setien was unaware of the 32-year-old’s desire to leave and said he had been pleased with Rakitic’s performances this season.

“I have no information that Rakitic wants to leave the club and he has no transmitted that to me. And with me he has played a lot and can continue doing it,” he told El Larguero on Thursday.


“I am happy with his performance and have nothing to say. We have to wait to see what happens and if he wants to leave or not. And if I have to say it, the time will come.”

Rakitic recently declared that his future may lie away from Camp Nou as he asked not to be treated like “a sack of potatoes”.

“I am not a sack of potatoes,” Rakitic told Mundo Deportivo. “I will decide my future. I want to be where I am valued. If it is here, delighted, and if not, it will be where I decide.”


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