FC Barcelona have announced their predecessor for manager Luis Enrique for the next season, with Athletic Bilbao coach and former Barca player Ernesto Valverde signing a two-year deal at the Nou Camp.
He has the Barca way
Catalan fans were left in shock at the beginning of the year as Enrique announced his intentions to leave the club after four years. At that point, he had won eight major trophies in his spell at the club.
Valverde was one of the names that was banded about along with the likes of Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino, but it is he who has run the race and will end his second spell at Bilbao after four seasons.
The 53-year-old will be unveiled to the fans and the media on Thursday, and Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu stated that they are excited to have the former player on board.
"Valverde has the ability, the judgement, the knowledge and the experience," Bartomeu said. "He promotes the youth players and he has a Barca way."
No sorrow, just joy
Enrique was handed one last chance of glory in charge of his Barcelona side on Saturday as they headed to the Vicente Calderón to take on minnows Deportivo Alavés in the final of the Copa Del Rey.
It certainly wasn't easy for the favourites with Lionel Messi's effort quickly squashed out by Theo Hernández, but goals from Neymar and Paco Alcácer in the last minute of the first-half secured victory and Enrique stated after the game that he didn't sadness at closing the book on his Barcelona career.
"No sadness at all, total joy," he said after the game."Actually, it has been me who has decided that it is better to stop."
"It will be wonderful for me and I think for the players and the team too," the Spaniard stated. "The intensity of this job and the way I do it, with maximum thoroughness every day implies fatigue."
"But there is no sorrow," Enrique concluded. "It is the opposite."