Ernesto Valverde is the new FC Barcelona coach, the Catalan club confirmed on its website, after days of speculation.
The 53 year old former Barça player replaces Luis Enrique, who was coach for three seasons.
Valverde, previously Athletic Club Bilbao coach, will be presented on Thursday, along with his assistant Jon Aspiazu and former blaugrana José Antonio Pozanco who will be the fitness coach.
The FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: “Today I have spoken personally with Valverde and he is happy and excited about the challenge of coaching Barça.”
“Valverde has the ability, the knowledge and the experience. He promotes players from the youth teams and he has a style and a way of working like ours. He has a philosophy of the game that is very Barça and he is a hard worker. Also, he is passionate about applying technology to both training and matches.”
This will be Ernesto Valverde’s second spell at the Club, his first coming as a player between 1988 and 1990. The new Barça coach won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Copa del Rey in his two seasons as part of Johan Cruyff’s squad, playing 29 games and scoring 10 goals in official competition.
As a coach Valverde has a wealth of experience in Spain and abroad. He has had two spells as coach at both Athletic Club Bilbao and Greek team Olympiacos as well as having coached at Espanyol, Villarreal and Valencia. In his career he has helped his teams to no less than six trophies, five with Olympiacos and one with Athletic Club.