MADRID (AP) — Barcelona has hired former player Ernesto Valverde as its new coach.
The club confirmed on Monday that the longtime Athletic Bilbao manager will replace Luis Enrique, who ended his three-year stint after winning the Copa del Rey on Saturday.
Valverde received a two-year contract, with an option for a third.
A former forward, the 53-year-old Valverde played two seasons for Barcelona in the late 1980s and was coached by Johan Cruyff, the Dutch great who gave Barcelona its winning identity.
The expected announcement was made by Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu after a club board meeting.
Valverde’s official introduction will be on Thursday.
“Valverde has the ability, judgment, knowledge and experience. He loves football and has a style that…