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The Fall of Ernesto Valverde


In 2017, when FC Barcelona lost to PSG at away by 4-0, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique gave a statement in which he apologized for the loss, and promised to step down at the end of the season. But then he beat PSG in the second leg at home in Camp Nou by 6-1 and turning around the aggregate. This win was called the Greatest Comeback in Football history; however, that didn’t change anything and Enrique stayed true to his word and stepped down. After Enrique’s departure, Neymar ended up leaving as well to play at PSG. At this stage the club was in a very weak condition and needed someone who could lead them in a critical time like this. Five names were put forward as a replacement for Luis Enrique, and from those names “Ernesto Valverde” was picked.

No one really wanted Valverde because everyone thought that he wasn’t someone who could help the club at this stage because he didn’t have the required experience. After joining as the head coach of FC Barcelona, his very first two match were both El Clasicos, which are the biggest and most watched matches in club football. He ended up losing both of them. But then, as he got more familiar with the squad that he has, he started a unbeatable streak in la liga. He ended up breaking the “Anoeta curse” for Barcelona and created the longest in unbeatable streak in la liga.

However, the biggest disappointment of the season came when Valverde lost to As Roma in away despite him winning the first leg at home by 4-1. Ernesto lost the trust of a lot of fans after this loss, but still ended up staying another season. When this season began, fans were already tired of his defensive style of play. In the first season fans understood that the team was in a vulnerable state and had not made any new signings, so defensive football was the only way. But in the second season, Barcelona made some signings of some attacking players. However, Ernesto Valverde still played his team defensively, which was the complete opposite of Barcelona’s way, which is possession based attacking football.

Valverde’s team ended up going to the UEFA championship league semifinal against Liverpool, which they one at home by 3-0, and now had to play them in away. Everyone looked towards Valverde to ensure that what happened at AS Rome would not happen again, and he did; in the press conference he confirmed to fans that he learned from his mistakes at Roma and would not repeat them. Yet he repeated all of those same mistakes again at Liverpool and ended up getting knocked out of the semi finals by losing 4-0 in away. This was the moment fans were sure about the fact that Valverde would not change his defensive play style and would not learn from his mistakes, and was what ultimately led to Valverde being sacked by the Barcelona president in the next season.


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