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Abidal: I wanted to bring Pochettino to Barcelona

Former Barcelona football chief Eric Abidal admits he wanted to bring Mauricio Pochettino to the club.

One big decision that Abidal wanted to make was to part ways with Ernesto Valverde, ten months after Barcelona's elimination to Roma in the Champions League in 2018. But, he wasn't listened to at the time.

"In December 2018, after a full analysis of the coach, his staff and the team, I recommended that we should change Ernesto Valverde," said Abidal to the Telegraph.

"I said to the president 'I think this is the decision you have to take now'. And he told me 'no, it's not easy'.

"Instead, he took the decision to renew the contract of the coach two months later - the opposite of what I had suggested. Of course, I accepted the decision and continued to give the coach my full support, but it was a little bit strange for me after I said to the president that it was better to change him."

So, when the club did eventually part ways with Valverde, who did the Frenchman want to bring in?

"On my list was Mauricio Pochettino, Quique Setien, Max Allegri and Xavi Hernandez," stated Abidal.

"Quique was appointed, but my first option was Pochettino."

Yet, despite Pochettino's clear history with Espanyol, Abidal did not think that would be a problem.

"I told the board, 'I have to bring the best coach we can in the market. I'm not here for politics because he was before in Espanyol'. For me, it's not politics," explained the former Barcelona technical secretary.

"I wanted the best and Pochettino is one of the best in our game. He reached the Champions League final with Tottenham, you have to respect this, he has a good philosophy of playing, a good philosophy of training, players love him and I think he would be a better coach now for this situation, but with a real project."

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