Former Barcelona manager Quique Setien has admitted that beating the Blaugrana at the Camp Nou while in charge of Real Betis was the “happiest” day of his entire life.
Following Ernesto Valverde’s trophy-laden yet unexciting spell at the club, Quique Setien took charge of Barca. Known for his excellent free-flowing football, the Spaniard was given the reins in January 2020.
Under his tenure, the club did play a more engaging brand of football, but he could not quite manage to earn the respect of Barca’s demanding dressing room. Only 25 games later, the former Betis manager was dismissed by the board.
The rather short spell in charge of the Catalans might have left a bitter taste in Setien’s mouth, with him claiming that beating Barca made him the “happiest” man.
Referring to Real Betis’ 4-3 win over the Catalonian outfit in 2018, Setien told Mundo Deportivo (via Barca Universal):
“Beating Barcelona at the Camp Nou was the happiest day of my life.”
Setien also indirectly threw shade at the 26-time Spanish champions for not allowing him the time and opportunity to instill his footballing philosophy.
Setien, who is yet to manage a team after parting ways with Barcelona in August 2020, said:
“I only ask one thing from every club that is interested in my services. I have my way of being and playing and If they want me, they must respect my proposal.”
Lionel Messi’s brace was not enough to save Barcelona from defeat against Real Betis at the Camp Nou
In November 2018, Real Betis visited the Camp Nou to face Barca. Valverde fielded a strong XI, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but still could not outscore Setien’s spirited Betis.
Junior Firpo and Joaquin scored in the first half to put the visitors firmly in control of the match. Barcelona, struggling to find their footing, cut the deficit through a Messi penalty in the 68th minute. Only three minutes later, Giovani Lo Celso restored Betis’ two-goal cushion, only for Arturo Vidal to bring it back down to one.
Unfortunately for the hosts, Ivan Rakitic saw a second yellow in the 81st minute, reducing them to 10 men. Making the most of the extra man, Sergio Canales put Betis 4-2 up with seven minutes left to play.
Messi pulled one back in injury time to give the Camp Nou faithful a glimmer of hope, but Betis held firm to snag a famous 4-3 win in Barca’s backyard.