Barcelona boss Quique Setien has heaped praise on his former Real Betis pupil Fabian Ruiz, currently on the Napoli books
Setien and Ruiz worked together at Betis and are now set to take opposite sides as Barcelona head to Naples for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.
The 23-year-old midfielder raised to prominence under the 61-year-old manager at the Benito Villamarin before Napoli triggered Ruiz’s €30million release clause to take him away from Andalusia in 2018.
Now, the teacher and the student will confront each other in Europe’s most prestigious club competition, and Setien hopes the Spanish playmaker won’t show ‘all his virtues.’
“I have a lot of affection for Fabian, he has had spectacular growth, I’m very happy for him, I hope that tomorrow he will not show all his virtues so we can stop him,” the Barca coach said, as reported by Goal.com.
“I am happy with his goals, he is tremendously humble and a beautiful person.”
Setien, who will also make his managerial Champions League debut, then went on to comment on his and Barcelona’s mood ahead of Tuesday’s kick-off.
“We expect the best version of Napoli,” he added. “It will be a disputed game.
“I think we have a very good and very positive dynamic. We have had some really tough games in recent weeks, and we have overcome them very well. I think we’re having a good time.
“It’s my first Champions League game, it’s a special motivation, it’s emotional for me to start this journey in a stadium like this, full of passion and history. It will be an exciting game.”
Barcelona, as well as their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, have both been linked with a move for Ruiz, who has emerged as one of the best deep-lying playmakers in Europe during his time at the San Paolo.