New Barcelona boss Quique Setien gets his new charges onside by hosting team dinner for Messi and Co

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Lionel Messi leaves the Via Veneto restaurant after the private dinner on Thursday night


That’s one way to impress your new squad! Barcelona boss Quique Setien gets his new charges onside by hosting a team dinner for a smiling Lionel Messi and Co at swanky Michelin-star restaurant

  • Quique Setien hosted a team dinner at the well-known Via Veneto restaurant 
  • Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Pique all attended the meal
  • Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona head coach on Monday 
  • His first game in charge is at the Camp Nou on Sunday against Granada in La Liga

Barcelona‘s new man in charge Quique Setien hosted a private team dinner with the first-team squad on Thursday night. 

Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde as manager on Monday, hosted the players at the well-known Michelin star Via Veneto restaurant in the upper area of the city. 

Most of the first-team squad were seemingly present, including captain Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Antoine Griezmann – the only player reported as absent was Luis Suarez

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO  

Lionel Messi leaves the Via Veneto restaurant after the private dinner on Thursday night 

Antoine Griezmann covers his face as he leaves the restaurant to a congregation of media

Antoine Griezmann covers his face as he leaves the restaurant to a congregation of media 

Gerard Pique was at the dinner - Barca play their next game against Granada on Sunday

Gerard Pique was at the dinner – Barca play their next game against Granada on Sunday

WHO IS BARCELONA’S NEW MANAGER? 

Quique Setien

Born: Santander, Spain, September 27 1958 (Aged 61)

Clubs managed: Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Equatorial Guinea, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas, Real Betis 

Achievements: Finished sixth with Real Betis in 17-18  

Youngster Ansu Fati was also at the dinner, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was videoed leaving Via Veneto, as were Sergio Busquets and Samuel Umtiti. 

Setien, who was at the helm at Real Betis before taking the Barca job, has his first game in charge of Barcelona on Sunday against Granada at the Camp Nou.

But three days before, the 61-year-old hosted the team-bonding meal at the swanky location, after taking training for the first time this week. 

The restaurant is ranked the third best in Barcelona by city restaurant guide Macarfi, and comes in at number 42 for the best restaurants in Europe, according to food and drink website The Daily Meal. 

Setien takes over with Barca top of La Liga, level on points with fierce rivals Real Madrid. 

Mundo Deportivo's front page shows Quique Setien at the team meal on Thursday evening

Mundo Deportivo’s front page shows Quique Setien at the team meal on Thursday evening 

Ansu Fati, the 17-year-old who has broken into the first-team this season, attended the meal

Ansu Fati, the 17-year-old who has broken into the first-team this season, attended the meal 

Barca stalwart Sergio Busquets (L) leaves the restaurant with Clement Lenglet (centre)

Barca stalwart Sergio Busquets (L) leaves the restaurant with Clement Lenglet (centre) 

SETIEN’S FIRST GAMES 

All LaLiga

Sunday Granada (H)

January 25 Valencia (A)

February 2 Levante (H)

February 9 Real Betis (A)

February 16 Getafe (H)

February 23 Eibar (H)

Setien admitted at his unveiling this week that it was beyond his ‘wildest dreams’ to manage a club of the stature of Barcelona. 

He said: ‘Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being here. Yesterday I was walking past the cows in my village, now I’m here training the best players in the world.’

Asked about coaching Lionel Messi, who he has publicly praised many times before, the former Betis and Las Palmas coach added: ‘I have enjoyed the last 12 years sat in front of the television watching him and these players who have made football so enjoyable to watch and it has been every day, every match.

‘And to now become the coach of the best player in the world I am still not completely conscious of what this means.’ 

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