Barcelona’s Quique Setién talks chess, lockdown and rondos

Barcelona's players during a training session. // PERE PUNTÍ - PERE PUNTÍ
Barcelona’s players during a training session. // PERE PUNTÍ – PERE PUNTÍ

Barcelona’s new manager, Quique Setién, talks about his time in confinement, in an interview by his friend and beach football legend, Ramiro Amarelle.

Time in confinement has been a theme for many, and as there are different ways of coping with it, Barcelona’s newly appointed manager, Quique Setién, has spent it with his family, playing online chess, and doing work-outs.

During an interview with his friend that he knows from when he himself used to play beach football, Ramiro Amarelle, the Cantabrian manager reflected on Barça’s training sessions. More specifically, he focused on the one-touch exercise, also known as the rondo, where he does not believe he is ‘one of the worst’.

“I do really well in the rondos. I am not one of the worst,” Setién said, before reflecting on what football has meant to him throughout his life and career.

Setién says he is where he is today ‘because of the ball’.

“I have spent more than 40 years living football and it’s been a privilege my entire life. The ball is always what has attracted me, it is what I have enjoyed the most, and I hope to keep on doing so, for many years to come.”

Before Spain entered the State of Emergency, the Cantabrian manager’s wife and daughter were out of town, and had they not arrived in Barcelona prior to the lockdown, Setién would have spent the time in confinement on his own.

Luckily for him, however, that is not the case.

“A few days before the lockdown they closed the school, so they [my daughter and wife] jumped in the car and came [to Barcelona]. I am happy because it [being] on your own is not the same as [being] with the family,” he explained.

Barça’s newly appointed manager has since done his part to keep himself in shape, by doing work-outs with his wife.

“When we get to 18 sit-ups I am out, but she can make the 20 they ask for. She is in good shape,” he adds, before talking about chess, which, as much as he loves it, can be just as infuriating at times.

“Every now and then, I play chess on the Internet, but I have not played for four or five days now. I was on a catastrophic run and I did not want to play. I have taken a break because I was doing worse every time I was playing, and I was getting angry,” Setién explained.

The 61-year-old manager signed with Barcelona in January, days before he originally was going to train an Egyptian team. He ended up taking over from the now unattached manager, Ernesto Valverde.