Setien: My Barcelona fate was sealed before 8-2 humiliation


Quique Setien has claimed that the decision to remove him as Barcelona coach had been made regardless of the Catalans' historic 8-2 capitulation at the hands of Bayern Munich. 

The former Real Betis boss stepped into the breach at Camp Nou following Ernesto Valverde's sacking in January after a Supercopa defeat to Atletico Madrid. 

Setien's charges failed to shine, however, surrendering the La Liga title to Real Madrid despite sitting top when the new man took over at the start of 2020 amid a series of disappointing results. 

His fate was then sealed definitively when Bayern ran rampant in the Champions League quarter-final, imposing a bruising defeat on the Blaugrana which led to the coach being relieved of his duties

But Setien maintains that he would have been on his way no matter what the outcome was in Lisbon's Estadio da Luz in August. 

"You end up tremendously damaged, you go into Barcelona history with that defeat," he told ex-Spain coach Vicente del Bosque in an interview with El Pais

"I take my share of the blame. All the same, one day I will write about it. After my sacking I found out that the decision had been made since before the 8-2. I heard about everything."

That thrashing will be the reason for which most Barcelona fans remember Setien after his short, underwhelming spell on the bench, and he regrets not having the chance to impose his trademark swashbuckling playing style on the team. 

"I was not myself. I couldn't be, or didn't know how to be, that is the truth," he added. 

"When you sign for a club of Barca's dimension you already know that things aren't going to be easy, despite having the best players in the world. 

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"The truth is that I couldn't be myself, nor did I do what I should have. It is true that I could have taken drastic steps, but that would not have helped either in as short a time as I was there and in which everything was condensed after lockdown. 

"Until that point the team was fine. We had started to change a lot of things. We went into the break two points ahead. Coming back we started well in Mallorca and Madrid's run was extraordinary. 

"In the end, the tension was too much. But really, there are situations that in a different context and in different circumstances I could have been different. There was no time to think or to work."