BARCELONA

Barcelona: Rivaldo on Valverde sacking, Setién appointment

Following Quique Setién's appointment in place of Ernesto Valverde, Rivaldo has criticised Barcelona's handling of their change of coach.

Barcelona: Rivaldo on Valverde sacking, Setién appointment
ALBERT GEA REUTERS

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo says he understands why the LaLiga giants sacked Ernesto Valverde, but has criticised the club's handling of the coach's departure.

"There was no going back on sacking Valverde..."

"It's clear that Barcelona haven't managed the change of coach well," the Brazilian told Betfair in the wake of Quique Setién's appointment in place of Valverde. "They were naive and perhaps a little disrespectful to Valverde. At the end of the day, it's never a good thing to be negotiating with a new coach while the current one is still working for you."

He went on: "I think Barça have hired Setién because, having unsuccessfully gone after Xavi and [Ronald] Koeman, there was no going back on sacking Valverde. It wouldn't have made sense to keep on Valverde after all that, so they had to go with their third choice."

On Barcelona's decision to fire Valverde, the 1999 FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or winner said: "It's a consequence of the results. That's the most important thing in football and if you can't achieve them, the board will start to have doubts about your work - and that clearly wasn't the first time, particularly given the Champions League [defeats to Roma and Liverpool].

Valverde won two LaLiga titles, a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup in his two and a half seasons in charge of Barcelona.

See also: Rivaldinho: Being Rivaldo's son is a burden

Setién a coach Barcelona can easily sack, says Rivaldo

"What we can't know for sure is whether or not it [the change of coach] has come at a good time. We'll have to see whether or not Quique Setién can really get hold of the team and lead them to success come the end of the season."

On Setién, Rivaldo added: "From what I'm reading and have been told about him, he seems to be a good coach. Results will determine his future. He has never coached a club as big as Barcelona and it'll be a new experience for him, Either way, he doesn't have much to lose and doesn't come with huge fan expectations, because he has never won a trophy.

"Setién is a solution from inside Spain who has a good reputation in the country, but doesn't have any real track record at big clubs, something which may have made negotiations [over his appointment] easier, and cheaper. It wouldn't be a big problem if Barcelona have to change coach again.

"What he needs to know is that he has to make a quick impression on the team or he could end up leaving the club quickly, because his CV offers no guarantees and doesn't give him any margin for error."