La Liga | Copa Del Rey & all Spanish related Matches,Schedules , News, Transfers and Updates (2020-21)


Administrator, Technical Team Director
Staff member
Sep 23, 2004
Vancouver, Canada
Barcelona fires coach Setien three days after crushing loss to Bayern

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona fired coach Quique Setien on Monday, three days after the team’s humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, the first step in what it said would be “a wide-ranging restructuring” of the club.

The decision was announced after an urgent board meeting summoned by president Josep Bartomeu in Barcelona. The club also announced new elections for March 2021 and said “profound changes” were coming for the first team.

A replacement to Setien was not immediately announced but Spanish media said Dutch coach Ronald Koeman was the front-runner to take charge. The former Barcelona defender was reportedly already in Barcelona.

Barcelona said “the new coach will be announced in the coming days as part of a wide-ranging restructuring of the first team.”

The new elections next March means that the board will “assume full responsibility regarding the 2020-2021 financial year.”

“The club will continue to implement the plan to reverse the sporting and economic situation, based on profound changes to the first team, plus a redefined budget to deal with the new situation caused by COVID-19, before the end of the current mandate,” Barcelona said in a statement.

Bartomeu, who was heavily criticized for his club management recently, has been at the club’s helm since 2014.

The loss to Bayern ended a disappointing season for the Catalan club, the first without a title since 2007-08. The team had already gone through a coaching change when Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde amid poor results in January. The season was also marked by disputes between players and club directors over a series of issues, and the team lost the Spanish league title to Real Madrid despite returning from the pandemic break with the lead atop the standings.

Lionel Messi had been among the outspoken players against some of the club’s decisions, and Gerard Pique made his views clear minutes after the rout against Bayern — arguably the most devastating loss in the history of the 120-year-old club.

“We have hit rock bottom. This club needs changes at every level,” Pique said. “I don’t mean just players and the coaching staff … the club needs structural changes.”

Many had called for Bartomeu to call early elections to help bring those changes to the club. The president had said after the game in Lisbon that it wasn’t “the time to make knee-jerk decisions.”

Friday’s defeat kept Barcelona without a European title since 2015, and highlighted the possible end of an era for an aging squad. Messi, Pique, Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal are all 33 years old, while Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are 32 and Jordi Alba 31.

Youngsters Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig have shown promise but it remains too early to know how much they will be able to contribute to the main squad.

Setien was hired after good campaigns with Real Betis. The team played only 25 matches during his time in charge, with 16 wins four draws and five losses. Among the setbacks were a defeat in the “clasico” against Real Madrid and a loss to Athletic Bilbao in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez were among the other candidates in contention, according to Spanish media, but it was Koeman who looked set to take over.

The 57-year-old Koeman became an assistant to Louis van Gaal at Barcelona in the late 1990s, shortly after retiring as a player. He played with the club in the early 1990s, winning four straight Spanish league titles from 1991-94. He also scored the extra-time winner that gave Barcelona its first European title in 1992.

Koeman played for the Netherlands in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and won the 1988 European Championship with the national team.

He has been coaching the Dutch national team since 2018, leading it to the Nations League Finals last year. His contract with the national team was valid until after the 2022 World Cup.

Koeman previously also coached Everton, Southampton, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia, among other clubs.


Administrator, Technical Team Director
Staff member
Sep 23, 2004
Vancouver, Canada
Eric Abidal: Barcelona terminate sporting director's contract

One of Abidal's final acts in role was to sack Setien after Barcelona were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Abidal, a former Barcelona defender and two-times Champions League winner with the club, had been in the role for over two years.

Setien was relieved of his duties in the wake of Friday's embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Barcelona warning of a "broad restructuring of the first-team".


Administrator, Technical Team Director
Staff member
Sep 23, 2004
Vancouver, Canada
Barcelona have confirmed their new signing Miralem Pjanic has returned a positive test for coronavirus.

Pjanic has moved to Barca from Juventus as part of a deal that was agreed in June, with Brazil international Arthur going the other way.

While Arthur became an isolated figure thereafter, Pjanic completed the rest of the campaign with Juve and was set to link up with Barca imminently.
Apr 27, 2006

Suarez accused of cheating Italian citizenship language exam

Footballer Luis Suarez, a Uruguay national, passed the exam despite his tutor allegedly saying ‘he can’t speak a word’.

Uruguayan football player Luis Suarez leaves the University for Foreigners after taking an Italian
citizenship test [Reuters]

22 Sep 2020

Italian authorities are investigating whether Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, an Uruguay national, was illegally helped to pass an Italian language exam last week, in order to receive a European passport that could help him transfer to a new club.

Suarez, whose wife is of Italian descent, passed the exam last Thursday at the University for Foreigners in Perugia.

“Investigations have shown the topics of the exam had been agreed with the candidate and the relative score had been assigned before the test,” a statement from the Perugia investigative office said on Tuesday.

The test cleared the way for a fast-track citizenship approval which would mean Juventus could sign him without exceeding its permitted quota of non-EU players, but suspicions were quickly raised in the media that he was given preferential treatment.

Perugia chief prosecutor Raffaele Cantone said his investigations showed the questions had been agreed with Suarez ahead of the exam and it had already been decided what grade to give him, despite his scarce knowledge of Italian.

Police searched the university on Tuesday looking for further evidence, Cantone said in a statement, while Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that five university employees were being investigated, including the rector.

Suarez, whose native language is Spanish, himself is not cited among those under investigation.

La Repubblica published alleged conversations tapped by police during their probe, in which a tutor preparing Suarez for the exam was heard telling a colleague “he can’t speak a word”, and described him as an absolute beginner in Italian.

Suarez, 33, obtained the intermediate B1 qualification required for citizenship in just 15 minutes, his examiner said after the test, and was only required to do the oral part of the exam.

Other citizenship applicants taking the B1 exam on the same day in Rome had to also complete a written paper lasting two and a half hours.

Suarez’s transfer now looks unlikely, as the Serie A champions have moved to sign striker Alvaro Morata from Atletico Madrid, while Suarez seems set to take Morata’s place at Atletico.

Suarez has had a controversial career; at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, he bit Italy defender Georgio Chiellini, leading to a four-month ban.

He also bit an opponent while playing for his former clubs Ajax Amsterdam in 2010 and Liverpool in 2013, which were punished with seven and 10-match bans respectively.

The former Liverpool captain joined Barcelona in 2014, after helping Liverpool come close to winning the English Premier League.

At Barcelona, Suarez has won numerous titles including four La Liga titles, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, and a Club World Cup.