Barcelona manager Quique Setien has been sacked after his side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The 61-year-old was only appointed in January but is expected to be relieved of his duties after the devastating loss in Lisbon, according to Sky Sport Italia. Barcelona were completely outclassed and overpowered by a ruthless Bayern, who had already scored four after just 31 minutes.
Bayern turned the screw after the break – despite a brief rally from the Spanish side – to inflict the worst defeat on Barcelona since 1940 with Philippe Coutinho rubbing salt in the wounds by scoring the final two goals against his parent club off the bench.
At full time Setien told reporters: “Right now we feel enormous frustration and all we can do is make conclusions and think about the future. “Barca is a club that is so great that this will cause us a lot of damage and obviously some things will have to change.
“The truth is this is a tremendously painful defeat. “Barcelona want to recover their identity. Right now, it’s too soon to think about whether I will stay or not. It doesn’t depend on me. “We have to reflect, taking the situation into account and the importance that such a humiliating and painful defeat means. “I’m hurt, evidently, by such a hefty defeat.
The way it came about has been tremendously painful. “I’m not worried about my future right now, but a defeat that is very painful for the club and the fans. I know what a defeat of this calibre means.” Barca defender Gerard Pique has confessed ‘we’ve hit rock bottom’ and insisted the club must make structural changes to become competitive in Europe once again.
W h e n asked to reflect on Pique’s assessment, Setien said: “This reflection from a player that has been here his whole life i n d i c a t e s something.” Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has had his say on Setien’s future and expressed sympathy for the Spanish coach.
“I think a club, when it’s that big or that bad, they always make a decision really quick to appease people,” Carragher told CBS Sports. “I feel sorry for the coach. I look at (Josep Maria) Bartomeu who came on, that’s a decision almost looking after themselves.
It had to be made. There was no way he could continue as the coach. “If they hadn’t won the Champions League this season I don’t think he would be there next season anyway. He had to go, but I think it’s a decision made quickly to appease people.”
The club’s President Josep Bartomeu also admitted afterwards that huge changes are necessary and that some decisions have already been taken with reports elsewhere suggesting that Director of Football Eric Abidal will join Setien as fall guys for Friday’s embarrassing exit.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has already been identified as Barcelona’s prime candidate to replace Setien.