Madrid (AFP)

"Changes" were needed, here is the first: three days after the earthquake of the 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, FC Barcelona thanked its coach Quique Setién on Monday and launched the reconstruction of the team.

Seven months of failure end in the worst possible way. Released on a terrible 8-2 in Lisbon which led to one of the "major crises in the modern history of FC Barcelona", Setién leaves to his successor, who will be announced "in the coming days", a team in ruins that we must completely rebuild.

Meeting since Monday morning, the management committee of FC Barcelona had no other choice but to start the great upheaval expected at the club by the dismissal of a coach appointed on January 13 to replace Ernesto Valverde, and who did not succeed in his mission: to return his DNA to a barça in distress.

"Quique Setién is no longer the coach of the first football team," said the Blaugrana club in a statement released on Monday evening.

- "Large restructuring" -

"This is the first decision taken regarding the large restructuring of Barça's first team, which will be done in agreement with the current technical direction and the new manager, who will be unveiled in the coming days," Catalan club, which foresees "profound changes".

"Yes, we hit rock bottom. The club needs changes," said Catalan defender Gerard Piqué, very lucid at the final whistle on Friday night, after the terrible debacle against Bayern Munich.

"Decisions will be announced and explained in the coming days, some of which had already been recorded before, even before the resumption of the Champions League," warned FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in the wake, Friday evening.

The first fell on Monday. In seven months, Setién (61) will have been in command of the Blaugrana training for only 25 matches, during a season truncated by the coronavirus pandemic, for a mixed record of 16 wins, four draws and five defeats.

He seemed haggard, with no solutions to lead stars he admires (like Lionel Messi), and lost in a suit arguably too big for him, as his passivity on the Blaugrana bench showed throughout his brief. experience.

- Koeman, designated replacement -

To replace him, a name is unanimous among supporters and in the Catalan press on Monday: Ronald Koeman. The current Netherlands coach (57) is a former club player (1989-1995) to whom he offered his first C1 in 1992, and is in line with the Dutch tradition of Barça, on the bench, after Johann Cruyff (1988-1996) then Louis van Gaal (1998-2000).

Other names also circulated in the Spanish press before being erased by the candidate Koeman, such as the French Laurent Blanc or Thierry Henry, the Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the Italian Maurizio Sarri or the ex-blaugrana legend Xavi Hernandez, currently in exile in the Middle East.

The future coach will have the difficult task of rebuilding a ruined Barça after his first untitled season since 2007 and cascading crises.

The management of Barça, also threatened and gathered this Monday in an extraordinary session to decide the future of the club, announced that the elections for the presidency will be brought forward to mid-March 2021.

"They will take place on the day of the first match after March 15, 2021," said the club's management committee in its press release, "which assumes its responsibility for the sporting situation the club is going through". One more step in Barça's revolution.

© 2020 AFP