Former Olympiacos Coach Ernesto Valverde Announced as New Barcelona Manager
Former Olympiacos coach, Ernesto Valverde, is the new manager of Barcelona.
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On Monday, Barcelona announced Ernesto Valverde as the club’s new manager. The former Olympiacos coach, who spent three seasons in Greece, is officially the man in charge at Barcelona and will take over Luis Enrique’s position. Alongside Valverde will be his assistants Jon Aspiazu and fitness coach Jose Antonio Pozanco. Valverde decided to leave Athletic Bilbao at the end of this season and signed a 2+1 year contract with the Catalan club.
Ernesto Valverde enjoyed two spells with Greek Champions Olympiacos in 2008/09 and 2010-2012. In his first season in Greece, he won the Greek double but his contract was not renewed as the club and Valverde could not come to a financial agreement, leaving both the players and the fans in disappointment.
He returned to Olympiacos in 2010 taking over Ewald Lienen’s position after the club failed to earn a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage suffering a bitter and embarrassing elimination to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the qualifying rounds. Valverde took Olympiacos back to the top of Greek football after Panathinaikos were crowned champions the season before. He remained for another season with the Erythrolefki where he won the Superlegaue title once again, however due to family reasons he decided to leave Greece for Spain.
After a short spell with Valencia, he took over Athletic Bilbao in 2013 and remained there ever since, helping the club to not only good campaigns in Spain, but also in Europe in the Champions League and Europa League.
Both Olympiacos and former players congratulated Valverde on his new position at one of the best clubs in the world. Olympiacos tweeted “Always one of us. Good luck.” Former Olympiacos captains Giannis Maniatis and Antonis Nikopolidis also expressed their warm wishes via social media. Maniatis posted on Instagram saying “Congratulations coach #Valverde !!! Wishing you the best with FC Barcelona!!” while Nikopolidis posted on Twitter saying “I was sure this moment would come. Good luck Ernesto.”