Ernesto Valverde has officially taken over as head coach of Athletic Club. The man with most matches (306) as manager in Athletic history will hold a press conference at 18:00 CEST this evening, in what will also be Jon Uriarte’s first public act as club president.
Valverde is embarking upon a third spell in charge of the Lions. During his previous stints in the San Mamés dugout, Athletic qualified for Europe five times in six seasons, one of those occasions being Champions League qualification. Valverde also broke the Club’s 31-year title drought when he led the side to a 5-1 aggregate win over FC Barcelona in the 2015 Spanish Super Cup.
Furthermore, Ernesto has 140 victories to his name as Athletic manager and in 2015/16 the Lions were runners-up in the Copa and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Valverde returns to the job after a spell at FC Barcelona (2017-2020), during which time the Catalans won tow LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.
The new head coach also spent six seasons as a player at Athletic Club (1990-1996), scoring 50 goals in 188 appearances. After retiring he moved into coaching, starting his managerial career at Lezama, where he spent four seasons leading various youth sides including Bilbao Athletic before taking the top job in 2003/04.
In addition to Athletic Club and FC Barcelona, Valverde has coached RCD Espanyol – where he was runner-up in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup – Olympiacos FC – winning three league titles and two cup titles between two spells in Greece – Villarreal CF and Valencia CF.
Curiously, he is the only Athletic Club coach who has been in charge of our team at both the old San Mamés and the new one. In fact, he was in the dugout for the first league match at the new ground, against Celta in 2013/14.