Quique Setien says he did not imagine in his “wildest dreams” that he would become Barcelona manager.
Setien has replaced Ernesto Valverde on a contract until the end of the 2021-22 season and was unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I want to thank this institution for giving me the chance,” Setien said.
“Not even in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I have to thank the club. I’m excited about this challenge and this project.
“That is the biggest thing I have to transmit to the players. I have to show the players that and normally it’s not very complicated for me to transmit that.”
Setien added: “Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I’m here at Barcelona managing the best players in the world.”
The 61-year-old former Real Betis boss takes over with Barcelona top of LaLiga, ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 14, 2020
“I thank Ernesto Valverde for leaving me with a side that is top of the league,” he said.
“My objective is to win everything! Everything you can win, this club has no other path to follow.
“Year after year, to win as many trophies as possible. I think the best way to victory is by playing good football. It doesn’t always happen but it’s not just about one day, it’s about keeping it going.”
Setien was asked about Lionel Messi as he has said in the past that he would cry the day the Argentinian retired.
“I said that about a lot of players,” he said. “I have enjoyed watching Barcelona for several years, watching them on television.
“To be able to manage the best in the world, and his team-mates – he has great team-mates – I have spoken to him and others.
“I have always said that the admiration is one thing but reality is different. Everyone needs to have their place. Messi is Messi, (Sergio) Busquets is Busquets.”
Setien will be in the Barcelona dugout for the first time at home to Granada on Sunday.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 14, 2020
On his arrival, he said: “Every time a new manager comes in, there is a stimulus for everyone inside the dressing room. You notice it immediately.
“This stimulus that we saw in the session today, we need to maintain that and I have never met a coach who is the same.
“Many people say ‘this coach is exactly the same’, but the reality is we are all very different. I am very clear as to what Barca needs. I’ve seen this from outside, we’ve watched them and analysed them.
“There are a lot of things we are very clear about and we will try to transmit that. These are just words, though, and we want things that are long-lasting.”