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Born in Viandar de la Vera in Extremadura but brought up in Vitoria in the Basque Country, 53 year old Ernesto Valverde is known for the attacking style of football he brings to his team and his man management skills. The new Barça coach has a wealth of experience in Spanish Football and also in Europe after spells in Greek football.
Ernesto Valverde wore the Barça shirt as a player between 1988 and 1990 and he began his coaching career with the youth teams at Athletic Club in 1997, taking charge of the U16B team. After a season as assistant coach and a spell in charge of Bilbao Athletic, the club’s B team, Valverde eventually took charge of the first team from 2003 to 2005.
Six trophies as a coach
After a year out of the game, Valverde returned to management in 2006 when he became Espanyol coach, taking them to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2007 in Glasgow where his team lost to fellow La Liga side Sevilla. In 2008 the former Barça player tried his fortune outside Spain when took over at Greek team Olympiacos. In his first season he claimed the league and cup double for the Athens club before leaving to return to his home country for a short spell with Villarreal. In 2010 he returned to Oympiacos for a second spell of two seasons in Greece and his success continued with the team winning the league twice and the Greek Cup once.
In December 2012 he took over at Valencia with the team in 12th place in the table. When he left in the summer of 2013, Valencia were back in Europe after having finshed the seasons in fifth place. A return to Athletic Club for the 2013/14 saw a second spell for Valverde with the Basque team. In 2015/16 he helped them to their first trophy in 31 years when they overcame FC Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. The same season Atheltic also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
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