Barcelona president to speak with Quique Setien after La Liga bankruptcy

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Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu will meet coach Quique Setien with the team in a difficult situation after losing the La Liga to Real Madrid on Friday, sources at ESPN confirmed on Friday.Mundo Deportivo was the first to report on the meeting.

Critics of Barça captain Lionel Messi against the team, calling it “inconsistent” and “weak” while stating the need to “change a lot” after Thursday’s 2-1 home loss to Osasuna, a result that helped Real Madrid clinch their 34th league crown with a spare game, appeared to be headed for Setien.

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The Catalan giants could still avoid a trophy-free first season since 2007-08 with success in the Champions League when competition resumes next month.

Setien said after the meeting he was “hopeful” to guide Barça to the Champions League next month, but admitted he “doesn’t know” if he will still be in charge by then .

When asked if he thought he would coach Barça in the knockout stages of the Champions League against Naples on August 8, Setien told reporters: “I hope so, but I don’t know. I agree with him [Messi] regarding a few things.

“We have to be self-critical. I feel capable [of turning things around] but self-criticism must be done by everyone.

“We will have time to rest and the team will arrive fresh to face the competition with optimism. I am sure we will be a different team. We will face this competition [Champions League] with the maximum guarantees. ”

Club sources told ESPN that Bartomeu has requested a meeting as he seeks feedback from Setien regarding the team’s current situation.

The same sources admit that if Setien has a “very good knowledge of football”, they recognize that the coach made “mistakes” in managing the return of Luis Suarez to the team following an injury and the bench. Antoine Griezmann in several matches.

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Luis Suarez talks about the future of Lionel Messi in Barcelona and wonders if he will seek a change.

Sources in the Barça locker room say the job is “too big” for Setien and that when he “tried to impose something, it was too late. Sometimes you get the impression that he wants to be sacked. ”

Bartomeu does not like making hasty decisions and his decision to dismiss Ernesto Valverde in January after the defeat against Atletico Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup was not appreciated by the team, including understood Messi.

Setien, 61, is linked to Barça until June 2022, with an exclusion clause in 2021 if the club does not want him to continue.

He accepted responsibility for Thursday’s surprise loss.

“I am the coach and the one who is responsible [for the defeat] “, he said. But we took 10 corner kicks and if we had scored one of them, we wouldn’t have lost the match. We have to be demanding and there are things to improve. Lots of things are going to be difficult, including champions [League], but we have improved many other things. ”

Real Madrid have won 10 consecutive league games, including a 2-1 victory Thursday over Villarreal, on their way to clinch the title, while Barça lost nine points after La Liga restarted in mid-June after the pandemic of coronavirus.

“You can’t burn everything, we’ve done good things,” said Setien. “It just wasn’t and it is part of the sport. ”

The appointment of Setien in January after the dismissal of Valverde had already taken fans by surprise since the Spaniard’s greatest achievement was to guide Betis to sixth place in the 2017-18 campaign.

Bartomeu gave Setien a vote of confidence earlier this week when he said he expected the coach “to continue to lead next season”.

Barça finishes La Liga at Alaves on Sunday.

Barca is unlikely to be able to promote reserve coach Francesc Xavier Garcia Pimienta to Setien, as he is “not the profile they are looking for”, club sources said.

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