Following his La Liga debut, Quique Setién will make his Barça debut in the Cup. Barça face Ibiza on Wednesday (7pm, DAZN), who is third in Group I of the Second Division B. The Balearic Islands as a whole have eliminated Pontevedra and Albacete in previous rounds. , is coached by former soccer player Pablo Alfaro. The Aragonese matched the ranks of Racing de Santander with Quique Setién from the 1993-94 season, after an almost testimonial step by Barça, which yielded him to the Cantabrians. By the time Alfaro arrived at Racing, the team had just moved up to Primera after seven years without being there. Irún’s coach, Javier Irureta, was chosen to lead Racing on his return to the top category. The Basque manager answers the call from the ARA from his current home in Getxo.
“Racing had come up with Paquito [Francisco García Gómez], but they contacted me to direct it [Irureta havia entrenat ja el Logroñés i l’Oviedo a Primera] and the truth is that it was a very complete season, both for the team and my career. I never liked separating myself from my family, which is why I was always listed as a Northern coach, and Santander was not far from home, “he says. The team struggled to save, but it was the revelation and it finished eighth. That Racing had a very clear scheme, with a hard defense of three central, a well organized midfield and a fast forward. Setién, despite the fact that then he was 35 years old, was the one who wore the baton.
“Setién had played in more advanced positions before, but in my scheme I fit in the middle of the field, ahead of the defense. It helped us a lot in the ball out. He was the captain in capital letters and also the guide, “recalls Irureta. “He was a technically good footballer and very loyal to his convictions and the way he played. He wanted to have a lot of the ball, not lose it, and he was good on the ball too. True, by the time he started to notice a little over the years, he continued to play in the midfield position for a few more seasons. He was a player who always thought hard and liked to create games. “
The virtues of Pablo Alfaro, current Ibiza technician, were different. “He was a very strong and very strong center. He also did well in the air and had a good left foot to get the ball. Pablo was also very important for the team: he was a defender who imposed a lot of respect. He was a very strong Aragonese, ”recalls Irureta. “Both he and Quique are very good people. They are good friends and I wish them well. “
A beautiful gift of football
Setién and Alfaro continued to share the dressing room for two more seasons at Racing, without Irureta on the bench. “I was loaned by Barça to a team where Setién was a veteran and a captain. We both loved Racing so much, a club that joined us for three seasons. We have a very good relationship, we have shared many moments and I wish her the best. Now we will meet again and give ourselves a big hug. It’s a beautiful moment that football gives us, “Alfaro told reporters.
The current Barça manager hung his boots on Levante in 1996, after joining the Valencian side as a booster to play in the Second Division promotion league, a goal that the frog team achieved . Alfaro continued to play: went through Atletico Madrid, Merida and Sevilla (where he was especially loved) and returned to Racing, where he retired at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
The management of the demands at Barça
In the Copa duel in Ibiza, Setién will be able to give minutes to the younger footballers, such as Riqui Puig. The team is expected to beat the Balearic team without fright. The opposite would be a surprise in a team with the demands of the Barça player. “The demand that he will have in Barcelona will be very high, different from the one he has so far, despite having already trained at Primera Las Palmas and Betis. I think he will come out, he has the knowledge and personality to do it. He will work and fight to achieve it. He is very confident in what he wants to do. He is the coach and wants to convince the players. In addition, the way they understand football fits with Barça, “says Irureta.
“I’m sure Quique and Messi will share ideas and understand each other,” says Irureta
Setién, both in Las Palmas and Betis, ended up receiving criticism because their teams had a great ball but they lacked a goal. One factor that Irureta believes is that Barça will be easier to neutralize for obvious reasons: the offensive potential of Barça, which despite having injured Suarez, “has Messi and also Griezmann”. Irureta, like any football lover, is passionate about Messi, and his attitude stands out: “Against Granada he received many fouls, but instead of complaining, he persisted and persisted. It is exceptional. I’m sure Quique will understand a lot. “
The Basque manager, with 71 years and an extensive experience first as a footballer and then as a coach, is now dedicated to being with the family and still watching a lot of football. During its stage like technician of the Sestao River it directed Ernesto Valverde. “He has won two leagues, one Cup … And his Barça lost a few games. This is not easy, but you have always been reminded of what you had not won. He has left the team leading and classified as a group leader in the Champions League. And I’m convinced he is a great person and he has empathized with the players. “