Manchester United’s next manager is still unknown, however Spaniard Ernesto Valverde is favourite to become the interim boss.

Valverde’s most recent managerial assignment was at Barcelona and won the La Liga two consecutive times in the 2017-18, 2018-19 season along with the Copa del Rey title.

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Ernesto Valverde has won the La Liga with Barcelona two consecutive times

With tons of experience, winning titles in two different countries and being able to handle big names and star players, the 57-year-old also knows Cristiano Ronaldo well from managing sides against the Portuguese.

Here are five things you may not know about the Spaniard…

PLAYING CAREER

Let’s start with the basics. Valverde, like many other managers, was a professional player who was a successful striker.

He made his La Liga debut with club Espanyol in 1986 where he ended the season with 43 league appearances and scoring seven goals.

The Spaniard then moved to Barcelona for two years, winning the Copa de Rey and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup before he left for Athletic Bilbao in 1990.

Overall Valverde amassed the La Liga totals of 264 games and 68 goals, adding 55 matches and nine goals in Segunda Division – this man has a decent record.

FIRST MANAGERIAL SUCCESS

Valverde’s first real managerial success came in Greece with Olympiacos where an abundance of trophies came flying the Spaniard’s way.

He had won three Super League Greece titles in 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2011-12 along with conquering the Greek Cup in 2008-09 and 2011-12 season.

After his incredible spell at Olympiacos, Valverde had no shortage of trophies as he thrived at Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona.

Valverde first success was at Olympiacos, winning five trophies

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Valverde first success was at Olympiacos, winning five trophies

BEATEN MAN UTD TWICE

Valverde has faced Manchester United twice as manager and won both of the matches.

He was in charge against the Red Devils in the 2019 Champions League quarter-finals where Barcelona won 1-0 at Old Trafford and then 3-0 at the Nou Camp.

Valverde has beaten Manchester United twice in the Champions League with Barcelona

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Valverde has beaten Manchester United twice in the Champions League with Barcelona

COACHING LEGENDS

Valverde has had his fair share of mentoring and coaching football legends and has openly admitted he treats them like regular players.

The 57-year old said: “Yes, I tried to do that, but I had the same relationship with him (Messi) as with the others, or similar.

“It’s obviously always a little different, because of what Leo meant to the club, what he meant to the rest of the team, his ascendance with the rest.

“He was a player everyone passed to, everyone often gave him a lot of responsibility and he accepted it.

“So, you have to keep that in mind.”

It seems Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be getting any special treatment.

Valverde coached Lionel Messi during his time at Barcelona

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Valverde coached Lionel Messi during his time at Barcelona

FAN OF ART AND CULTURE

Apart from winning titles and dealing with high-profile players, Valverde is a keen photographer, whose work has been published and exhibited.

Having studied at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya while a player, he prepared for a photographer’s career but now he continues to pursue his successful hobby throughout his managerial life.

Valverde’s artistry has also been recognised in the world of sport. After his departure from Olympiacos in 2012, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola suggested he was a fan.

Guardiola said: “Greece has lost a great coach and we’ve got a great photographer back”.


(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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