Barcelona's Setien on replacing Valverde: I can't believe I am manager here

BARCELONA -- Quique Setien has said he can't believe his luck when he wakes up every moving after replacing Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona coach earlier this week.

Setien, 61, will make his debut in the Camp Nou dugout against Granada on Sunday after being named as the successor to Valverde, who won back-to-back La Liga titles and leaves the club top of the league.

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The former Real Betis boss, whose managerial career has mainly been spent in Spain's lower divisions, said there is no better place to be than Barca and has promised to seize the opportunity handed to him.

"A big club had never called me [before]," he said in a news conference. "I think everything in life has its process and I've always had a very humble way of thinking, so I know how hard it is to achieve these things.

"I consider myself valid [for the job] but I know sometimes that is not enough. I am going to take advantage of being here and enjoy every second until I have to leave. I wake up every day and I say: 'Jesus Christ, I am going to train these players!' There is no better place to be, that's the reality."

Setien, who said he has still not had time to check the 700 messages he has received this week, officially took over on Tuesday and has worked with the players every day since, cancelling a previously scheduled day off on Wednesday.

"This week has gone much better than I expected because when you join a new team, there is always that uncertainty about how the players will respond to you," he added.

"I have been surprised by their attitude and their willingness to work hard and to accept some of the chances that every new coach brings with them.

"We all know what Barcelona DNA means but you [the media] don't know what these players are capable of; they may not even know what they're capable of in the right setting.

"If the player is receptive and keen to learn, you will be surprised by what they're capable of. There are many people who surpass themselves, you just have to be willing to learn."

Setien will ultimately be judged on results but his first task is to get the side playing more attractive football once again. Valverde's failure to manage that effectively cost him his job.

"As coaches, we choose this profession knowing the risks and we're prepared for whatever comes," Setien said when asked if Valverde's dismissal had been just.

"Whether that is fair or not, it doesn't fall on us [to say]. You focus on what you have to focus on, which is working hard and hoping things come off. We cannot control how everything else is interpreted."

Setien is missing several key players for his first game. Frenkie de Jong is suspended, while Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are both injured. Late checks will be made on Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Arthur Melo, who have returned to training this week.