Barcelona replaces Valverde with former Betis coach Setién

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MADRID (AP) — Barcelona made a rare coaching change midway through the season, replacing Ernesto Valverde with former Real Betis manager Quique Setién on Monday.

The move came four days after the loss to Atlético Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup, a result that significantly increased pressure on Valverde.

The club said it reached an agreement with Valverde to terminate his contract.

Setién, a 61-year-old Spaniard who used to be a midfielder for Atlético Madrid, is known for setting up teams that often mimicked Barcelona’s attacking-minded style.

“Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession-based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans,” Barcelona said.

The club called Setién, who will be officially introduced on Tuesday at Camp Nou Stadium, “one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football.” He was contracted to June 2022.

It is the first time since 2003 that Barcelona has made a change in the middle of the season. Louis van Gaal left the club that January, and since then six other coaches have begun their stints at the start of the season.

Valverde was in charge of the team practice on

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