BARCELONA

When Quique Setién coached Equatorial Guinea

Quique Setién once accepted the role to manage the West African nation, convinced they had a clear, long-term project. But things quickly changed.

When Quique Setién coached Equatorial Guinea... for one day
Morenatti Diario AS

New Barcelona head coach, Quique Setién, has trained Real Betis, Las Palmas, Lugo, Logroñés, Poli Ejido and Racing Santander in recent years – roles which have given him plenty of exposure in the Spanish media.

However, very few people know about one peculiar, short-lived coaching job he held overseas over a decade ago.

In the summer of 2006, Setién found himself out of work when he received an unexpected offer to coach the national side of Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony located in West Africa. The Spanish coach accepted the offer, however his tenure only lasted for one game: a 3-0 defeat to Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

As the coach himself recalled a few years ago when explaining how the initially exciting proposal came about, his decision not to continue came down to the lack of professionalism of the Equatorial Guinea football federation. 

Quique Setién was presented as the new Barcelona head coach on Monday.

Setién initially saw a long term project with clear goals

“In principle, it was even an opportunity. Against Cameroon, despite not having the concepts clear, I already had good players. In fact, I was there to sign a collaboration agreement with Logroñés as a former player who had been from this club,” said Setién.

“At the time I had no job and they presented me with a proposal, ideas that seemed very clear and in which they always talked to me about a long-term project. I even brought Esteban Torre as one of the people who works with me. We saw many games and many players, because I believed in that project -- or, at least, I wanted to believe.

“But it was there, as time went by, that I realised that these people had no intentions or seriousness when it came to signing a contract. I met one day with the president of the federation and a member of the board, but nothing more. On one of the trips I spent three days at the hotel without anyone showing up. That was the final straw.”

Angel Lopéz's contribution to Equatorial Guinea

Since 1990, 26 coaches have occupied the coach’s bench for Equatorial Guinea, nine of them being Spanish, including Ángel López, the current coach of Ecuadorian club Delfín.

López has been the coach to make the largest contribution to the development of the Equatorial Guinea national team and domestic game.

Aside from convincing Spanish-born former West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang (who currently plays for Italian club Sassuolo) to sign up for the national side, López also had a big role in supporting the development of grass roots football in the West African nation.