New Villarreal coach Quique Setien said he should have left his position at Barcelona after just one month in charge due to difficulties in playing the role he wants.
Setien, 64, said certain habits were set in his inability to change and made him compromise on his coaching style.
The former Barcelona coach also spoke about the difficulties he faced in coaching Lionel Messi, although he said he wanted to remember the positive elements of the Paris Saint-Germain striker.
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“Barcelona was the team you always dreamed of as a coach, but if you see that there are things you can’t change, you have to leave”, He told El Larguero on Thursday After his first match with Villarreal, he drew 2-2 with Hapoel Beersheba in the European Conference League.
“But it’s an opportunity I’ve dreamed of forever. It arrives through one door and departs through another the following month like [Jose Antonio] Camacho verb [at Real Madrid in 1998]…there was a moment you thought about, but you overcame those moments. If there are things that do not suit you, you should not be a hypocrite and you should go.”
Setien took over Barcelona in January 2020 after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde. He was sacked in August of the same year after losing the League title to Madrid and losing 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
He added, “When you get to a club that has been winning everything for 14 years…there are some habits that I haven’t seen before.”
“There are things that you cannot change because they are very well established and it is not an easy situation. It was a huge learning experience. I would have done it again without a doubt. You learn from everything to get better in the future.”
Setien’s relationship with some of Barcelona’s key players at the time was one of the main reasons why he was unable to succeed at Camp Nou. He admits that working with Messi has not always been easy.
“It is not worth talking about Messi,” he said when asked about the Argentine international. “Everyone should remember how, for me, he was a constant attraction in football for 14 years. I spent 14 years watching Barcelona matches waiting to play against him so I could see him. [live].
“That’s how I want to remember Messi. I can’t say if he disappointed me. There are things I liked and others that I didn’t like and I had to fight with. If in addition to that he scored three goals against you in every game, no You can say anything. There are always players who are difficult to work with and who are assigned certain suits.”
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Setien had previously threatened to sue Barcelona over the money they owed him from terminating his contract, but said they were on their way to making their payments now.
“Barcelona still owes me money but they stick to the schedule religiously,” he said. “I gave them three years to pay me doing it.”
Villarreal lost 3-0 to Barcelona last week before Sittin was appointed. He will not face his former team until February, when they host Xavi Hernandez’s side in La Liga.
Villarreal’s job is Setien’s first since he left Barcelona more than two years ago.
“I wasn’t convinced that I would ever get a chance somewhere to be a good fit,” he said. “It was a great surprise. Villarreal had a coach [Unai Emery, who left for Aston Villa] Which was working really well and it didn’t seem like this function would show up.
“I had offers, but nothing really appealed to me. I could have gone to the States, I was drawn to the boycott, but then I got a surprise call to come here.”