He was a creative footballer who excelled during his 19 seasons as a footballer, especially at Racing Santander
Some may remember him wearing the Levante shirt in his last few games as a player, but Quique Setién's time on the pitch will mostly be remembered for his career at Racing Santander, the team from his city. The Cantabrian wore their colours in 12 of the 19 seasons that he was a professional footballer, after his beginnings in beach soccer.
From Cruyff to Setién's magic
Quique Setién is a big fan of Johan Cruyff, and proof of that is the way in which he played and how he coaches football. Setién excelled as a creative midfielder who, despite having a good physique, possessed great ability with the ball and marvelled football supporters in the 80's and 90's. "Setién was outstanding for having a lot of technical qualities, including being a goal scorer and a great header of the ball. Apart from wanting to win, he always wanted the team to play good football," said former Barça player Salvador Garcia.
Fans of Racing enjoyed watching one of the idols of Cantabrian football, and his good performances helped him to make the move to Atlético Madrid, then coached by Luis Aragonés. It was there he won the Spanish Super Cup and after his third year in Madrid, he went to Logroñes for four seasons. Interestingly, Setién scored two goals as a player against Barça, the first at Camp Nou for Logroñes and the second at El Sardinero in a 5-0 win for Racing Santander.
Camp Nou, the end of one stage and the beginning of another
Setién's last game as a Racing player was at Barça in the 1995/96 season. It ended in a draw (1-1) and with the new Barça coach playing the last 10 minutes of the match. It was his last game as a footballer in LaLiga, prior to his short stint at Levante before his retirement. Twenty-five years later, Setién returns to the Camp Nou to start a new phase, this time as Barça coach.