- The club named the inexperienced Quique Setien as its new head coach last week after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.
- "Barcelona recruits no name coaches," Simon Kuper, a sports journalist with close ties to the Spanish giants, wrote for ESPN. "At this club, the coach isn't the boss."
- He added: "Messi has unspoken veto power over most player transfers, coach appointments or major tactical decision[s]."
- Kuper says he based his conclusion on "dozens of conversations with club officials."
- Barcelona did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
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Barca named Quique Setien as its new head coach last week after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, much to the surprise of the man himself, who said he never imagined it in his "wildest dreams," according to ESPN.
The 61-year-old arrived at Camp Nou with a sporadic track record behind him, having managed six different teams in Spain since the turn of the century, none of which he won any domestic honours with. He also managed the Equatorial Guinea national football team for a brief spell in 2006.
Despite his record, however, Barcelona appointing Setien was no mistake, according to Simon Kuper, but was instead a deliberate move, because having a more experienced coach would only stand in the way of the man with the real power Messi.
"Barcelona recruits no name coaches," Kuper, a sports journalist with close ties to the Spanish giants, wrote for ESPN . "At this club, the coach isn't the boss. He doesn't determine how the team plays. The team's style of play is largely determined by the players, in particular by Lionel Messi."
Kuper, who works for the Financial Times and has close ties with the Spanish giants, said he based his conclusion on "dozens of conversations with club officials."
Barcelona did not immediately reply to Business Insider's request for comment.
"Messi's low charisma and habitual public silence are deceptive," he continued, adding: "Although Barca won't admit it, Messi has unspoken veto power over most player transfers, coach appointments or major tactical decision[s]."
Since the departure of Pep Guardiola from the club in 2012, Barcelona has appointed five different head coaches.
First came the late Tito Vilanova, who, after sadly passing of cancer in 2014, was superseded by Argentine Gerardo Martino. Luis Enrique and Valverde followed, before Setien was appointed early this year. All had little or no credentials of managing at the highest level.
Kuper concluded: "As long as Barca have a team full of experienced, world-class players topped by Messi, plus the remnants of their Cruyffian house style, a strong coach would only get in the way."
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