Football looks different from where Ernesto Valverde is. “The idea was to change focus,” he says, as he always has. A photography exhibition opened this week at the Ernest Lluch Kulturetxea in San Sebastián. It consists of black and white images measuring 1m x 1.022m, on linoleum and bolted to the wall to give it an industrial, unsettling feel. Befitting the world he captured, the collection presents a portrait of the former Barcelona manager from the other side of the game.
Valverde didn't always plan to be a manager. Trained at the Institut d'Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya as a player, he was preparing for a career as a photographer, but football has a way of drawing you in, it's expressed in his pictures. Twenty uninterrupted seasons as a coach, he took Espanyol to the UEFA Cup final and Athletic Bilbao to their first trophy.