The kick from Quique Setin to Dimitri Piterman

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In January 2003, news of the Aparthotel Palamós’ guests shattered: Dimitri Piterman was leaving for Santander. The until then owner, patron, trainer, physical trainer and all possible charges of the Palamós left the club that he himself had risen to Second B months before in a play-off in Águilas, because he had just become the biggest shareholder in Racing de Santander. Piterman, his assistant (and trainer lender) Chuchi Cos and four players – David Coromina, whites Dani Sarabia, Edu Aguilar and Collantes – changed Palamós for a First Division team. At Aparthotel Palamós, where most footballers from the Palamosí club lived, things would change a lot. But in Santander too.

Racing has just returned to the First Division. And it had been largely thanks to Barça coach Quique Setién. In the summer of 2001, a year and a half before Piterman’s arrival in Cantabria, Setién had returned to the club of his life (Liencres, the village of the now famous cows with whom the coach rode, is less than 10 minutes away). kilometers from Santander), to become General Manager of Racing. Then to Second A.

However, on the eighth day of that season, however, Quique Setién changed his office on the bench, making his coaching debut after the removal of Gustavo Benítez. With rookie Setién on the bench tandem with Nando Yosu, Racing would go up to the First Division but the following summer, the new Barça coach decided to return to his role as sports director by betting on Manolo Preciado as coach for the return. Racing in the First Division. It seems that, at that time, Quique Setién was still not clear what would be his run to the bench, and that his goal was to grow the Cantabrian club from the offices. And that was trying. Until Dimitri Piterman arrived.

Being convinced that his ideas were good, Piterman wanted to implement in Racing the methods he had implemented in Palamós. That is, he had the last word in everything. In the signings, the alignments, the physical exercises in the training and in what the players had to eat … Coach Manolo Preciado left him, Piterman, but a figure like Quique Setién, with great prestige as player and highly regarded Santander, he was doing well. But the current Barça coach had no plans to stick to saying “yes, well said” twenty times to the American millionaire born in Odessa (Ukraine).

On arrival in Santander, Dimitri Piterman met with Setién and Preciado at a hotel in the Cantabrian capital. A tireless talker, Piterman was up until 5 a.m. selling his product, which neither the trainer nor athletic director would buy. The two resigned immediately, however, in the case of Quique Setién, without any bad words for the businessman arrived from the Costa Brava. “He’s the smartest person I’ve ever met in football. Some may think he’s crazy, but maybe he’ll give Racing his biggest glory days, “said Setien that, despite Piterman’s early attempts not to accept his resignation, he would eventually walk away from Racing. But not football.

Piterman would last a short time in Santander, as well as leave Vitoria when he landed in Alava, while the transformation of Quique Setién into coach was long. And quite complicated entry. The following season of his departure from Racing, the Barça manager now signed for Poli Ejido, Second A, where he would be dismissed on day 12; and there was also no luck in the Second B Logroño and a short trip through Equatorial Guinea. His luck changed at Lugo, where he went from Second B to Second A, coaching him for six seasons (he was the Galician coach in the famous match that Girona stayed at the door of the promotion). In the summer of 2015, Quique Setién left Lugo to debut in the First Division with Las Palmas, a category in which he has also directed Betis before a Monday Barça call changed his life.

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