Ernesto Valverde

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Ernesto Valverde
Valverde 2014 (cropped).jpg
Valverde managing Athletic Bilbao in 2014
Personal information
Full name Ernesto Valverde Tejedor[1]
Date of birth (1964-02-09) 9 February 1964 (age 56)[2]
Place of birth Viandar de la Vera, Spain[2]
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)[3]
Playing position(s) Forward
Youth career
San Ignacio
Alavés
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1985 Alavés 46 (18)
1985–1986 Sestao 32 (6)
1986–1988 Espanyol 72 (16)
1988–1990 Barcelona 22 (8)
1990–1996 Athletic Bilbao 170 (44)
1996–1997 Mallorca 18 (2)
Total 360 (94)
National team
1986 Spain U21 1 (0)
1987 Spain U23 1 (0)
1990 Spain 1 (0)
1993 Basque Country 1 (0)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Athletic Bilbao (assistant)
2002–2003 Bilbao Athletic
2003–2005 Athletic Bilbao
2006–2008 Espanyol
2008–2009 Olympiacos
2009–2010 Villarreal
2010–2012 Olympiacos
2012–2013 Valencia
2013–2017 Athletic Bilbao
2017–2020 Barcelona
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ernesto Valverde Tejedor (Spanish pronunciation: [eɾˈnesto βalˈβeɾðe texeˈðoɾ];[a] born 9 February 1964) is a Spanish former footballer who played as a forward, and a current manager.

Over ten seasons, he amassed La Liga totals of 264 games and 68 goals, adding 55 matches and nine goals in Segunda División. He played for six teams in a 14-year professional career, including Espanyol, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.

Valverde later went on to have an extensive spell as a manager, including being in charge of all three clubs. He won the double with Olympiacos in 2008–09 and 2011–12, and Barcelona in 2017–18.

Playing career[edit]

Valverde was born in the village of Viandar de la Vera, Province of Cáceres, Extremadura.[2] After making his professional debut in Segunda DivisiónDeportivo Alavés and Sestao Sport Club[4]– he was transferred to RCD Español in 1986,[5] making his La Liga debut on 31 August in a 1–1 away draw against Atlético Madrid. In a season that included a second stage he ended with 43 league appearances, scoring seven goals; in his final year, he was part of the squad that lost the 1988 UEFA Cup on penalties, to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.[6]

Subsequently, Valverde played two years at FC Barcelona, winning a Copa del Rey and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, although he appeared sparingly in the process (only 13 minutes against Lech Poznań in the latter tournament).[7][4] However, in his second season he netted six times in only 12 games, including braces in consecutive wins over Sporting de Gijón (2–0) and Valencia CF (2–1).[8][9][10][11]

Valverde left for Athletic Bilbao in 1990, being eligible although he was born in Extremadura (he moved to the Basque Country still an infant). He played six seasons with the team, scoring 20 league goals from 1992 to 1994 before moving to RCD Mallorca, where he was relatively used as the Balearic Islands club achieved top flight promotion, and retired the following summer aged 33; during his time at Athletic, he was nicknamed Txingurri (Basque for ant).[12]

Valverde played once for Spain, appearing 20 minutes in a 2–1 UEFA Euro 1992 qualifier win against Iceland on 10 October 1990, in Seville.[13]

Coaching career[edit]

Spain and Greece[edit]

Immediately after retiring, Valverde began his career as a manager in the youth departments of former club Athletic Bilbao. Four years later he became a co-trainer in the main squad and, in 2002, he again acted as head coach when he took over the B-side, being promoted to first-team duties the following year; in 2003–04, they finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup.

After one year out of football, Valverde joined another old acquaintance, Espanyol.[14] During his first season, the Catalans managed to reach another UEFA Cup final – 19 years later – again losing on penalties, to fellow Spaniards Sevilla FC.[15]

On 28 May 2008, Valverde was appointed coach at Superleague Greece club Olympiacos FC,[16] winning the championship in his debut campaign and adding the cup for the double. On 8 May 2009, it decided not to renew his contract in spite of his success, because of a financial disagreement; however, most of the players and fans were openly in favour of him staying.[17]

Valverde with Olympiacos in 2012

On 2 June 2009, Villarreal CF announced that Valverde would succeed Manuel Pellegrini on a one-year deal, after the Chilean had left for Real Madrid.[18] As the team stood tenth in the league on 31 January 2010, he was sacked following a 0–2 home loss against CA Osasuna.[19]

Valverde returned to Olympiacos on 7 August 2010, as a replacement for Ewald Lienen who had only been in charge for a few weeks.[20] In his first season in his second spell he again led the Piraeus side to the league championship, also reaching the last eight in the domestic cup.[21]

On 19 April 2012, after helping Olympiacos renew its league supremacy, Valverde announced his decision to leave due to family reasons.[22] On 3 December he returned to Spanish football by being appointed at Valencia until the end of the campaign, replacing the fired Mauricio Pellegrino;[23] his first game occurred five days later, a 1–0 win at Osasuna,[24] and the second match, against the same opponent for the Spanish cup, brought another triumph at the Reyno de Navarra (2–0).[25]

Athletic Bilbao[edit]

On 1 June 2013, immediately after the 3–4 away loss at Sevilla which meant Valencia could only finish fifth, thus out of qualification positions for the UEFA Champions League, Valverde announced he would leave the club.[26] He returned to Athletic Bilbao on the 20th,[27] qualifying for the Champions League in his first year[28] and also reaching the final of the 2015 Spanish Cup.[29]

On 17 August 2015, Valverde led the Lions to their first trophy in 31 years after a 5–1 aggregate defeat of Barcelona for the Supercopa de España.[30] He declared on 23 May 2017 he would be stepping down on 30 June,[31] to be replaced by former Athletic teammate José Ángel Ziganda.[32]

Valverde's 306 matches in charge of the team over two spells set a club record, beating the previous total of 289 set by Javier Clemente.[33][34] He also surpassed Clemente's 211 league matches managed, finishing on 228, but was unable to match his record of victories: The latter won 141 games – 102 in the league – while the former came up one short, with 140 and 101;[35][36] additionally, he was on the bench for 42 European matches, another record.

Barcelona[edit]

On 29 May 2017, Valverde replaced Luis Enrique as the new Barcelona manager.[37][38] His spell began with defeat as rivals Real Madrid won both legs of the Spanish Super Cup at the season's outset.[39] However, the team then went on a 29-match unbeaten run in all competitions from 20 August 2017 until 17 January 2018, when they lost to Espanyol in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Spanish Cup (also the club's first defeat at the RCDE Stadium, home of their neighbours, since its 2009 opening);[40] they recovered to progress in that tie[41] as part of another sequence of 15 matches without defeat, before a loss to A.S. Roma in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League on 10 April, with the 3–0 defeat meaning the Italians progressed on the away goals rule.[42]

Barcelona remained undefeated for 43 matches in the Spanish League only to lose in their penultimate game of the campaign on 13 May 2018, having rested Lionel Messi for the trip to Levante UD – they were beaten 5–4 by the hosts.[43] They finished with a league and cup double, defeating Sevilla 5–0 in the Copa del Rey final.[44]

The 2018–19 season began with a 2–1 victory over Sevilla to win the domestic supercup.[45] In February 2019 Valverde signed a new one-year contract extension,[46] as they went on a 23-match unbeaten streak and secured a second consecutive league title under him in April following a victory over Levante.[47] He led his team to their first Champions League semi-final after a gap of three years, winning 3–0 at home against Liverpool but being eliminated after an upset 0–4 defeat at Anfield in the second leg, leading many to call for his dismissal.[48][49] He also guided the side to another Spanish Cup final, this time losing 2–1 to Valencia.[50]

Valverde remained in charge for the start of the 2019–20 season. Despite the team winning their Champions League group and being top of the league table by the new year on goal difference, poor performances and a period in December and January that saw them win only one in five matches meant his position once again came under pressure. On 13 January 2020, he was sacked by the club, with his last game being a 3–2 defeat to Atlético Madrid in the Supercopa de España;[51] he was replaced by former Real Betis coach Quique Setién.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Valverde is a keen photographer, whose work has been published and exhibited.[53] His younger brother, Mikel, is a noted cartoonist.[54][55]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 13 January 2020[56]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record Ref
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Bilbao Athletic Spain 30 June 2002 30 June 2003 44 22 10 12 63 51 +12 050.00 [57]
Athletic Bilbao Spain 30 June 2003 21 June 2005 93 38 23 32 143 119 +24 040.86 [58]
Espanyol Spain 26 May 2006 28 May 2008 99 37 30 32 129 127 +2 037.37 [59]
Olympiacos Greece 28 May 2008 8 May 2009 47 31 7 9 84 35 +49 065.96 [60]
Villarreal Spain 2 June 2009 31 January 2010 32 13 7 12 51 40 +11 040.63 [61]
Olympiacos Greece 7 August 2010 31 May 2012 80 60 7 13 161 47 +114 075.00 [62]
Valencia Spain 3 December 2012 2 June 2013 30 16 7 7 56 38 +18 053.33 [63]
Athletic Bilbao Spain 20 June 2013 23 May 2017 213 102 45 66 318 240 +78 047.89 [64]
Barcelona Spain 29 May 2017 13 January 2020 145 97 32 16 339 128 +211 066.90 [65]
Career total 783 416 168 199 1,344 825 +519 053.13

Honours[edit]

Player[edit]

Espanyol

Barcelona

Manager[edit]

Espanyol

Olympiacos

Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona

Individual[edit]

  • UEFA La Liga Coach of the Year: 2015–16[66]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In isolation, Valverde is pronounced [balˈβeɾðe].

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Ernesto Valverde". Eurosport. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
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External links[edit]