Rivaldo slams ‘disrespectful’ Barcelona over handling of Valverde sacking


Barcelona legend Rivaldo has ripped into his former employers over the recent sacking of manager Ernesto Valverde.

Spanish champions and La Liga leaders Barcelona made the decision to sack Valverde on Monday, ending his three-year spell in charge and appointed ex-Real Betis boss Quique Setien as his successor on a deal until the summer of 2022.

It was viewed as a harsh decision from the Catalans to relieve the 55-year-old of his duties given the fact he has guided the club to back-to-back La Liga titles, while they won the Copa del Rey in the 2017/18 campaign.

Ultimately, Barcelona’s failure to win the Champions League cost Valverde his position at the Nou Camp, with the Spanish Super Cup semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid last week proving to be the final nail in the coffin.

Before the sacking was confirmed, reports suggested Barca were talking to Xavi and Ronald Koeman about taking the position, but both turned down the opportunity.

Rivaldo, who played for the Catalans from 1997-2002, is unhappy with how the matter was handled and believes Valverde was not given enough respect before being shown the door.

“It’s clear that Barcelona didn’t deal well with this change of manager,” he told Betfair. “They were a little naive and perhaps disrespectful with Valverde; it is never a positive action to start negotiating with a new manager while the current one is still working.

“Of course, Xavi and Ronald Koeman rejecting their proposals also added to that problem creating lots of speculation, before they finally announced Quique Setien. Football is a cut-throat business, of course, but we all know that the process wasn’t well driven by Barca’s board.”