Athletic Club have confirmed that they have appointed Ernesto Valverde as their new manager for his third stint in charge of the club with the Spanish manager returning to a top-flight job after leaving Barcelona two years ago. Valverde was rumoured to join Athletic and the deal has been completed.
Ernesto Valverde has established himself as one of the best managers in the top-flight of Spanish football during his spells with Athletic. The Spaniard proved his tactical prowess in the biggest stages of European football with Barcelona as he led them to two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey Cup.
The 58-year-old has not taken up a job since he was sacked from Barcelona in January 2020 after the Barcelona hierarchies and supporters were left disgruntled with their team’s style of play. Valverde, who enjoyed a fruitful playing career with the Basque side, managed the team to a club-record 306 games across his two spells in charge of the club.
Jon Uriarte, who was contesting for the presidency of the Spanish club through an election, had vowed to hire the legendary manager if he won the race and the deal has now been set in motion after Uriarte won a four-year term with 46% of the votes. The Spanish side confirmed the appointment through a statement released on the club website.
"Ernesto Valverde has officially taken over as head coach of Athletic Club. Valverde is embarking upon a third spell in charge of the Lions. During his previous stints in the San Mamés dugout, Athletic qualified for Europe five times in six seasons. Valverde also broke the Club’s 31-year title drought when he led the side to a 5-1 aggregate win over FC Barcelona in the 2015 Spanish Super Cup. Furthermore, Ernesto has 140 victories to his name as Athletic manager and in 2015/16 the Lions were runners-up in the Copa and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League," read the statement.