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Ernesto Valverde
Gender Male
Ethnic Spanish
Job Spanish Football Coach
Desc xxxx


Club as Coach Barcelona FC
  Athletic Bilbao

2009 08 09 Retrieve

[Espanyol’s former coach, Ernesto Valverde, led the club to the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 and remembers Daniel Jarque as one of the most important players in his squad] I have not yet been able to take in the news, I cannot understand it. He was a a super strong player, super healthy and very important in the dressing room, but life can bring cruel surprises. It is very difficult to take in.

2017 06 03 Retrieve

[During his unveiling as the new Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde revealed his ideas for getting the best out of Lionel Messi next season] He’s a decisive player wherever he plays. It’s one thing to see him from the other side, but it will be another thing to see him in training and witness what he can do – I have never coached a player of his calibre. Sometimes, it can be true that he’s on the wing a little too much, perhaps, but that is something I will have to study and see if I can improve

2017 09 16 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde speaks about Messi’s performance after their 3-0 win over Juventus in the UEFA Champions League] I have suffered against Messi many times; now I am lucky enough to have him on my team. When he has the ball you always believe that anything can happen – good things for us. It’s not just about his goals, either, but his all round involvement. You can put Messi in any position and he can score goals. His quality is always the same wherever he is. It doesn’t matter if he’s on the wing or in the middle, he’s always connected to the play

2017 11 29 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde insists he is not worried about Gerard Deulofeu despite another disappointing performance in Barcelona’s 5-0 Copa del Rey defeat of Real Murcia] He has tried from the first moment. It’s true that in the end he was anxious because he wanted to score, or put a move together, and sometimes when you try too hard at something it is more complicated. But, aside from that, his effort has its positive side. I’m not worried, he’s okay. He doesn’t have any physical problems, he’s not sick. He’s okay

[Valverde handed a first start to 18-year-old midfielder Oriol Busquets and introduced David Costas for Gerard Pique early in the second half, and the former Athletic Bilbao tactician was pleased with their performances] They did very well. In the case of David, I planned to play him, especially because Pique wanted me to play him for 50 minutes. In the case of Oriol; he’s a player that I think can help us. He’s still very young, but I think he did very well. I took him off because I didn’t want to have four B team players on the pitch, just in case. [Carles] Alena also did very well and [Jose] Arnaiz scored again, so I’m very happy.

2018 01 27 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde talks about Lionel Messi after Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis in La Liga] You have to enjoy him. We have been able to live his era. I have suffered because of him and I know what that is like. Now I can enjoy it. It is an event to watch him every day. He is the best player there is and there ever will be

2019 04 16 Retrieve

[From world champion to broken and error-prone - Samuel Umtiti’s miserable season] [Umtiti] has been out of action for a long time and the defensive line is playing at a really great level. What Umtiti has to do is work hard and focus on getting back to his best. He’s keen to contributew

2019 05 04 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde on Lionel Messi, after the club won their eighth La Liga title in 11 years] There’s always one man above everyone else and that’s Messi.

2019 05 24 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde insisted there has been enough talk about his future ahead of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final against Valencia] I do not think too much about my future. The only thing that worries me is to win [against Valencia]. Every day is a battle. If you look around the coaches in La Liga, we are part of the show. We all get ups and downs. You only have to see what happened to [Valencia coach] Marcelino, who had a moment, or [Real] Madrid changing coach. I do not know about Leo Messi defending me. We are all aware that, when there is an elimination, we must all take responsibility, the players, the coaches, all of us. We are hurt, but we have to look forwards and face the consequences again. I do not feel any more pressure. Why would I? I’ve always said that the club respects my work and it’s always been like that. I have no complaints from the president or the board.

2019 05 25 Retrieve

[Josep Maria Bartomeu says Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia on Saturday was not the fault of under-pressure coach Ernesto Valverde] Coaches are always willing to turn things around. If I were given the choice between falling in the final or in the quarters or last 16 I prefer in the final. It’s hard to face a elimination, I feel good even though we all want to win. I’m fine, what we the coaches want when you lose is to have another chance, we want to get up the next day, I know losing is hard and the coach has responsibility

2019 05 29 Retrieve

[The secret behind Liverpool’s incredible pressing and energy levels. The Reds overwhelmed Barcelona at Anfield to set up this weekend’s Champions League final] You can’t make any mistakes [against Liverpool], you can’t switch off. They’re a team that have a surge and, in 15 minutes, they try to steamroller you. And they often succeed.

2019 07 17 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde is expecting a swift impact from €224 million trio Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Neto at Barcelona] They are three important signings. Of course, we expect a lot out of them, they have our fans excited and what we want them to do is get into the team dynamic and perform to their levels. [De Jong] has last year and in recent years been playing at a high level, as did his whole team. We hope he can give us some fresh energy in midfield, which can only be good for us. We’re building for the future and he has years ahead of him. He’s a quality player. He has a little bit of our playing style in him.

[Griezmann] is a player who fills spaces quickly and is decisive near goal and we know how much a player like that is worth and what he gives you in return. We have high hopes for him because he is young but with experience and that leads us to expect him to perform right away. Neto is an experienced player too, an insurance policy in goal, and we think he is an ideal complement to Marc-Andre ter Stegen

We have challenges, just like any other year, and we also have the demand of having to win everything, to win all the time, to get our fans excited. There is nothing else for Barca except trying to win every competition we take part in, to win all our games and stay faithful to our style

2019 07 23 Retrieve

[Antoine Griezmann faces a learning curve at Barcelona but Ernesto Valverde was pleased with the glimpses of class he saw on Tuesday] Griezmann has to get used to Barcelona’s play. It’s easy to see how dangerous he is with the ball. He has bad intentions always for the rival. We need a lot from him but it’s the first match. He has to see how we pressure and dominate rivals, but it’s the first match

[Valverde felt his players being behind Chelsea in their preparations was a key factor in the loss] We started in the right way both halves with a different 11 starters. We were better the first 15 minutes. It was the first match for us, the fourth for Chelsea and we paid for that. The good thing is to see how the new and young players can play. It was a good test in order to compete because it’s different from training

[Valverde, who overcame the destabilising impact of the Brazil forward leaving Camp Nou to join Paris Saint-Germain at the start of his reign] Neymar is another club’s player, so I don’t want to say many things for a player who belongs to another team

2019 07 25 Retrieve

[With Barca needing to cut salary, and Inter interested, Rakitic seems destined for an exit, with even coach Ernesto Valverde saying of his situation] Time moves on for us allss

2019 07 26 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde confirmed a new left-back is on Barcelona’s wishlist] It is true that we had some problems on the left side [of defence] and it is possible that somebody may arrive. But we are open to the market until the last day and we will see what happens

[He has faced media in Japan ahead of a friendly against local outfit Vissel Kobe, home to former Barca players Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper] Tomorrow is an opportunity. There are things that must be improved and adapted. We always have to improve. We will leave out Pique, who has a problem, as a precaution

2019 07 26b Retrieve

[Valverde had little time with his squad before leaving Spain for Japan, and he conceded Barca’s gruelling travel routine has not helped his players’ fitness] Obviously, our preseason is not a standard one if you compare it with the rest of the teams. We just need to adapt ourselves to all these trips following the interests of our club as it needs to expand their brand. Besides, the club can get an important amount of money by playing these kind of games, so we must adapt ourselves to this factor. In terms of training sessions we are a bit short of shape as we have been working out just for a single week. Here [in Japan] the level of intensity at the training sessions is a bit different

2019 07 27 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says New boy Anotine Griezmman will likely settle well alongside Barcelona veterans Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez when the trio link up for the new season] The good players always understand things easily. We’ll see later on how well he links up with others. We have a lot of hope with him that it will work. He moves quickly and finds space really well. He’s a player we needed

2019 07 27b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde was heartened by new charge Antoine Griezmann’s pre-season debut despite his side’s defeat to Chelsea] He has to get used to the game of the team, but you can see that when he gets the ball he is very dangerous. He is bad news for the opponents and we expect a lot from him, but this was just his first game

2019 08 04 Retrieve

[Barcelona vs Arsenal. For now, manager Ernesto Valverde is content for what should be a relaxed afternoon of football] There is always a very good atmosphere at the Gamper Trophy game. People always have the urge to watch football after a few months away and they want to see the new signings. We hope it is a party and everybody ends up happy. We look forward to playing at home in front of our own fans

2019 08 05 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has suggested that the club may look to move on some players, especially in a congested midfield] There are quite a few players in midfield. We’ll see if something happens. I don’t know if any sales or signings will be completed. This year there is more competition

[Valverde said of Frenkie de Jong] He’s curious and always wants to improve. He’s always demanding and always wants the ball. He doesn’t overplay in tough situations. He can work harder and give us more speed. He’s a good signing

2019 08 08 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde believes Philippe Coutinho will remain with the La Liga champions despite conceding that he does not know what will happen as exit talk continues to swirl] We do not know what will happen, but Philippe is a player who is with us. He has not played but the plan we have with him is the same. We’ll see if he plays a few minutes on Saturday. But he is a player who is with us and we have him, of course. He is with us and we think he will continue with us. In all these transfer windows there is talk of many things

[Antoine Griezmann featured for a half for Barca, but the former Atletico Madrid star is yet to score in four pre-season outings for his new club] He has made a great first half, but maybe we have missed playing with some more rhythm. I had thought he would play at home like Luis [Suarez] and on Saturday he will play again

[Neymar has been touted for a sensational return to Camp Nou] Now it’s Madrid and we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Two years ago he was right here and I had to answer questions from many journalists. Now, they ask me again about him. It seems that Neymar is following me. We have nothing to say about players who are on other teams

2019 08 10 Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde remains unsure what will happen with Neymar amid reports the La Liga champions want to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star] We’ll see what happens. The classic response is that he plays for another team and that’s that. All I know is that I’m the manager and I only think about the players I have. They are the ones I’ll be using tomorrow. As it stands, I don’t know what is going to happen

[Valverde said he could not guarantee Rakitic’s future] He is very important for us. His work is there. Right now, I don’t know if he will stay. I count on him as I have. In principle, nothing makes me think that I won’t be able to count on him

2019 08 10b Retrieve

[Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde says he is unsure if Neymar will re-sign at Barca] We’ll see what happens. The classic response is that he plays for another team and that’s that. All I know is that I’m the manager and I only think about the players I have. They are the ones I’ll be using tomorrow. As it stands, I don’t know what is going to happen

2019 08 11 Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde believes it is difficult to see Lionel Messi returning from injury for his side’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday] He’s in the recovery process and I don’t know if he will be ready for the start of La Liga. It’s looking difficult

[Valverde was pleased to see Griezmann, who arrived from Atletico Madrid for €120 million in July, get off the mark for Barca] Goalscorers are always boosted by the chances they get, by goals… it’s good for them to have a good relationship with the goal. He had clear chances to score earlier, too. I am happy that all the forwards scored, including him, above all because he gives us a lot in attack with his movement. It’s positive to see how he’s playing

2019 08 13 Retrieve

[Bayern Munich remain interested in acquiring Philippe Coutinho in the current transfer window] We do not know what will happen, but Philippe is a player who is with us. He has not played but the plan we have with him is the same. We’ll see if he plays a few minutes on Saturday. But he is a player who is with us and we have him, of course. He is with us and we think he will continue with us

2019 08 15 Retrieve

[Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona’s La Liga opener against Athletic Club on Friday after head coach Ernesto Valverde declared he would not take any risks with the star attacker] We won’t take any risk with any player, much less if he is Messi. We will see how he arrives to the training session but he hasn’t worked or played with the team. Doing an individual recovery is not the same as playing a game, his recovery process is good but we must wait until the training session

[Responding to questions over his style of play, Valverde pointed to his overall results and domestic silverware to show Barca are doing more right than wrong under his leadership] Everybody has this target, we want the best we can. In the big games you want to raise your level but you’re always thinking about playing better. The question is how. Do you want me to look like George Clooney? That’s difficult. The most beautiful football is difficult too, but we try to be the best team with the best football and we are steadily improving. We had some excellent games last season, some not so good, but if I look back over my two years we’ve lost four league games, I think, mostly when we’ve already won the title, so I think we’re doing a lot of things right

2019 08 15b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has refused to speak about the possibility of Barcelona bringing back Neymar, who is unsettled at Paris Saint-Germain] I’m outside all these matters and focusing on coaching the team, I have enough to think about ahead of the game without thinking about players from other teams. We need to respect players that play for other clubs, he belongs to Paris Saint-Germain right now so no, I have nothing to comment on right now. I have a squad to consider and I think about them for tomorrow, what happens after that is a problem for the future. I’m very happy with the squad and I have no reason to talk about players in other teams. I’m the coach, my job is to adapt to the players I’ve got. At a club like this there are always mixed opinions

[It has been suggested Barca have offered Ivan Rakitic as a makeweight in a potential deal] He’s a very important player for us, he has been for my two years here. I hope he will continue doing so

[Despite Barcelona’s season getting under way at Athletic Bilbao on Friday, LaLiga’s transfer window remains open] Yes it [the transfer window] is a problem, it’s not logical. We had a similar situation last season, you want to know your squad when you start the league. It’s not a sensible situation that the market is still open when the league is starting. The team that starts the league might not finish it and we have 15 days of uncertainty ahead. But anyway, I have to concentrate on the squad I have. It would be nice if it was definitive, but I don’t know yet

2019 08 16 Retrieve

[Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona. Valverde confirmed they start the season without Messi] We’re not going to take risks with Leo. He’s not trained with the team. We’ll be patient but his recovery is going well. We want to repeat what we did last year and reach May 1 aspiring to win four titles, but it’s very difficult to achieve. In the aspects we did not do well, we want to improve

2019 08 17 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Barcelona at the end of last season as he prepares to join Bayern Munich on loan] It is a situation that last season when the league ended the player had it in his head. This has come up, he has accepted and hopefully he is lucky

2019 08 17b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Antoine Griezmann has to come into play more following his underwhelming league bow for the La Liga champions] If he’s near the area, he is decisive and moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen. Putting him on the left side, we know that you are going to focus on the goal, but we have a side and players that can hold the game. Of course, he is aware that we all expect a lot from many players and he has to look to get more into the game

[Suarez left San Mames just after the half-hour mark due to an apparent calf injury away to Athletic Bilbao] He has a muscular problem and we have to wait for the tests. In the second half, when we were around Athletic’s area, we missed him

[Barca eventually succumbed to Athletic, who triumphed thanks to veteran Aritz Aduriz’s stunning overhead kick in the 89th minute] With Aduriz, any ball in the air is a danger and he got his goal. That move is dominant, and he’s scored similar goals. When I saw him line it up… I wasn’t surprised with the execution at all

2019 08 20 Retrieve

[Valverde demanded more from France international Griezmann in the aftermath of the defeat to Athletic Bilbao] If he is close to the box he can finish, he moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen. Putting him on the left, we knew that he will look for goal, but we have a left-back and players who can take the game. (However), we expect a lot from all the players and he has to look to get in the game more

2019 08 24 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has denied the rumours of a possible Neymar return to Barcelona have affected his squad] Every time a market window gets open there’s a big expectation and players like Neymar awake a big expectation as well. What is happening is anything but boring, but he is a PSG player and we must focus on the game. We are used to living with these rumours. If they affected us, it would be impossible to play the games. This is a habitual thing here and it doesn’t look extraordinary to me. We are used to it and we must live with that

[Asked about how he feels about his situation, Valverde believes he is fortunate to be in his position] Compared to a friend who is doing his holidays in Ibiza I am worse than him. But compared to another one who is living with adversity while saving migrant people in the Mediterranean Sea, I am so good. We are so lucky to be here

2019 08 24b Retrieve

[Messi ruled out of Betis clash after missing final Barcelona training] We won’t take any risk with Messi. We must wait to see him in the training session to check if he is ready

2019 08 25 Retrieve

[Barcelona vs Real Betis. Valverde says Griezmann has to contribute more after a muted performance on his competitive debut] He has to be more involved in the play and always be looking to get involved. It is good to have him near the area because of his movement but that will only work if we completely dominate games

2019 08 26 Retrieve

[With Messi again forced to watch the match from the sidelines, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said his star player was never going to be risked] He didn’t have a good sensation, we don’t think it was a relapse. He had some slight discomfort and we already said that we’re not going to force him

2019 08 26b Retrieve

[Barcelona (5) vs (2) Real Betis. Ernesto Valverde praised Antoine Griezmann for stepping up in their La Liga win over Real Betis on Sunday] I have to recognise that it was an important day for him due to the injuries we had. He reacted perfectly. He dropped into the midfield to help and he made an impact. We know that if attacking players track back, we have a better chance of winning. It is essential that more players score goals. The fact that Griezmann scores gives him some security

[Valverde declaring after the match that he was never going to risk the 32-year-old unnecessarily] There wasn’t a positive feeling. He hasn’t had a relapse of the injury. We already said that we wouldn’t rush any player. What we wanted to avoid was a relapse

[Missing so many players, Valverde opted to bring on 16-year-old Anssumane Fati late in game as the teenager became the club’s youngest debutant since 1941] He has a lot of self-confidence, goes to space, faces one-on-one. He is the youngest player I’ve ever handed a debut, but as with veterans, we look at performance, he can give us good performances and that’s why I gave him his debut. Ansu has surprised us because he has qualities, we will see what happens in the future

2019 08 27 Retrieve

[Barcelona have started their season without Messi, who remains out with a calf strain, with Valverde stressing they won’t be rushing the 32-year-old back into action] There wasn’t a positive feeling. He hasn’t had a relapse of the injury. We already said that we wouldn’t rush any player. What we wanted to avoid was a relapse

2019 08 27c Retrieve

[Ousmane Dembele had once again turned up late for training. Asked if he had ever come across such tardiness in a player before] It happened with me!

2019 08 28 Retrieve

[Fati had need not have worried about his first-team chances, as he debuted in Ernesto Valverde’s side before he had even made his reserve-team bow] He has a lot of self-confidence, goes to space, faces one-on-one. He is the youngest player I’ve ever handed a debut, but as with veterans, we look at performance, he can give us good performances and that’s why I gave him his debut

2019 08 30 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has grown sick and tired of discussing Neymar’s possible return to Barcelona] I’m really looking forward to that day coming and we can give everything a rest and we all know the state of everything because this has been going on a long time. On the subject of Neymar, I have nothing to say. He’s a player at another team. We respect our rivals and we’ll see what happens

[He added of Rakitic] Ivan Rakitic is a great player who has played a lot here and nothing makes me think he won’t be here

[Valverde was asked what Dembele must do to find consistent form and fitness and win over his doubters in Catalonia] At the moment, he is injured. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m not going to comment on anything on Dembele.

[One player who is expected to leave is left-back Juan Miranda, with Schalke boss David Wagner confirming on Friday the player is in Germany to finalise a loan move] Last year, we put him in place as our second left-back. He has great qualities and he has to continue his development so he can come back. It all depends on him

2019 08 30b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde confirms Lionel Messi is expected to return for Barcelona in the LaLiga match with Valencia after the international break] He’s following a normal recovery process. We hope he can be available against Valencia. We hope to have him but we’ll see how the injury evolves in these two weeks

[Valverde had earlier been keen to offer his condolences to former Barca head coach Luis Enrique and his family following the death of his daughter Xana] It’s difficult to find adequate words to comfort people going through something so tough. But I want to offer all of our affection and support for him, for his family, from everyone who is part of Barca and to send him a huge hug

2019 08 31 Retrieve

[Osasuna vs Barcelona. Only a couple of days left remain to lure Neymar back, but for head coach Ernesto Valverde, he cannot wait for that distraction to be over] We’re very much looking forward to the end of the transfer window and resting. It’s getting tiresome. I’ve got nothing to say on the subject of Neymar - we’ll see what happens

2019 09 01 Retrieve

[Osasuna (2) vs (2) Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde denied he is leaving Ivan Rakitic out of his Barcelona team due to uncertainty about the midfielder’s future] What do you want me to say? Last year he was playing and Nelson [Semedo] was on the bench. The other day he played well and we stuck with the same team, with Sergi Roberto in midfield. We have a lot to choose from. It’s a great question, but it could be about anyone. The market does not influence my decisions at all. If I think he’ll come in handy for a game, I’ll play him. I choose depending on the game

[Barca went behind just seven minutes in thanks to Roberto Torres’ strike, but 16-year-old Ansu Fati and Arthur put the visitors 2-1 up in the second half. However, Torres’ 81st-minute penalty following a Gerard Pique handball secured a draw for Osasuna at El Sadar] We were not good in the first half but we were good in the second half, we had them pinned back. When we got in front, we had the chance to extend our lead, but there was an absurd moment, a penalty, and it’s a shame because we had the game there to be won and we should have killed it off. It’s about imposing ourselves on the opposition. The opponents always press us because it’s one of the games of the year for them. You have to know how to control that

[Valverde was delighted with the impact of Ansu Fati, who became Barca’s youngest La Liga goalscorer] He’s a forward who takes on the opposition, and he’s a good finisher, as he showed with the goal. We thought we lacked a spark when we brought him on. He’s a young player, but there are a lot of good things about them: dribbling, confidence, forcing the opposition back. He came on when we were losing, at a tough ground, and he responded well

2019 09 13 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi could miss Barcelona’s first Champions League game of the season] I am not a doctor but it seems that the scar was opened a little and that made us more cautious. In terms of him being able to return, I don’t know if it will be Tuesday or maybe later. I don’t want to say anything to lower expectations, but I find it difficult for Tuesday

[They will be looking forward to another home game to build on a 5-2 win against Real Betis in their last match at Camp Nou] Leo’s loss is always noticeable, but there are other players who must step forward. Antoine Griezmann has already scored a couple of goals, and we hope he is able to continue. There have been times when [Messi] has not been available and we have kept going. When he had that problem with his arm [last season], the team responded well. We want him to return soon, but also to return well

[Messi himself has commented on the injury in a recent interview, suggesting he will definitely be back for the game against Granada on September 21] I’m still training on my own. I don’t have a fixed return date yet. I’m doing tests and when I’m 100% recovered, I’ll be ready to play. I won’t play against Valencia but we’ll see if I return against Dortmund or Granada.

2019 09 13b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde wants to move on from the Neymar transfer saga as he fears it could have a negative effect on Barcelona] Was this not over? It is done. We’ve been speaking about Neymar before the window, during it and now afterwards we’re still talking about him. It’s time to turn the page. He’s a very good player. The market closed days ago. He’s a great player, I know everyone has their opinion. Talking about these things is bad for the club. I do not like it. I didn’t read the interview. Everyone looks at Leo with binoculars. There is no need to attach too much importance

[Barcelona are rumoured to have offered PSG cash plus players for Neymar, with Ivan Rakitic among those touted as a possible makeweight] I don’t think he’s affected in any kind of way. There’s no reason for him to feel that way. We’ve got a lot of players in midfield - if Rakitic doesn’t play it’s the same as Arthur, [Arturo] Vidal, Carles Alena, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets. Whoever I don’t play is going to be a story. Evidently they can’t all play and there’s competition for places. Sergio Busquets is a fixed player [in the starting XI] and that limits chances even more. There’s time to start thinking about what type of rotations work and do not work in those positions

2019 09 13c Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde believes Lionel Messi’s comments about his Barcelona future have been overplayed] I didn’t want to read it. I know what Leo has to say. He expresses himself naturally and then people tend to misinterpret what he has said. Everything he says, people try to squeeze out every sub-meaning from his words. I think he was just trying to express things naturally, I don’t think we need to worry. I don’t think there are any doubts regarding his future. It’s the club that decides which players it’s going to keep or not, but I don’t think there are any concerns, certainly I don’t have any concerns about it

The scar opened a little bit, so it’s told us that we need to exercise a little bit of caution. I don’t think it’s long that he’ll be back again. But Tuesday, I don’t know, probably later. Of course he’s a very important player for us, I can’t deny that, but there has been other times when he hasn’t played and we’ve got through games very well. He’s the best player in the world so we want him back as soon as possible, but we want him to come back at full fitness, not for him to come back and then take things a step even further back. Missing Messi is always going to be noted, but it also means possibilities for other players to up their game. We saw that against Real Betis, certainly. Knowing how difficult it is to replace Messi, we need the guarantee that the team is still able to compete in his absence

2019 09 13d Retrieve

[Valencia drew both of their league meetings with Barca last term, before beating the Blaugrana 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final - a win that Marcelino believes played a part in him losing his job - and Ernesto Valverde is expecting a stern challenge despite the upheaval at Mestalla] I imagine it will be a similar kind of game even though they have changed manager. It was only two days ago. I don’t really think there has been time, I’m sure there will be changes in time but it hasn’t been enough. It’s a team that has given us problems on the counter-attack, keep their lines together, quick on the break and can score from the smallest of chances, we saw that in the cup final. They’re a Champions League team so we expect a Champions League kind of game

2019 09 14 Retrieve

[Barcelona vs Valencia. Ernesto Valverde is keen for others to take responsibility in the meantime] While it’s true that we notice Messi’s absence, it’s true that it can be an opportunity for other players to take a step forward

[while Valencia have changed coach over the international break, Valverde does not forecast too many surprises from the guests] It’s only been a couple of days so I don’t think there will have been much time to change a lot. They come from a period of good results and they’ll come with a similar line-up. They have a classic 4-4-2 and play well on the counter-attack, as we saw in the Copa del Rey final

2019 09 15 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde struggled for words to describe teen sensation Ansu Fati after the forward played a key role in his side’s 5-2 thrashing of Valencia on Saturday] It is not easy for anyone to play for Barca, even less so for someone as young as Ansu Fati… It is not normal for him to score on the first ball, assist in the second. Everything will be normalised, we are interested in him getting to know himself, that he realizes that this is very complicated. Wherever you are, the player who earns his place is the one that plays, there is no secret, the coaches want players to come out; if they are young and have energy you use them. Ansu has qualities that suit us, we will see the potential he has

[Valverde, however, is keen to play down those links and hopes his new sensation focuses on his own game] I do not care if Ansu Fati’s start has been compared with Messi. We know that the balloon will start rising now but we will deflate it, it is up to us to protect the player

2019 09 16 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde confirms Messi return but wary of rushing Barcelona star] We’ll decide before the game. It wasn’t very clear a week ago if he could come, but he was with the team in the last few training sessions, finishing well, taking the fear of pain out of his mind. We’ll see what we do

[Fati became Barca’s youngest ever league goalscorer against Osasuna last month and marked his full Camp Nou debut on Saturday] I’ve not spoken with him, save for tactical matters. I don’t like the history of giving advice. Of course I will talk with him, but you have to give him some breathing space. What he is doing is exceptional. If he plays, it’s not so he can break a record, but because of the needs of the team. We love him

[Valverde believes Dortmund will offer a good litmus test for his side] I expect a rival of the highest level, a challenger for everything in their country and in Europe, and a good yardstick for us. It’s a competition in which one bad day can knock you out, even if you have had a great competition until that moment. The two teams in the final last year [Liverpool and Tottenham] lost more games than we did. You can’t neglect even 10 minutes.

[Tuesday’s game will see Barca come up against Paco Alcacer, who has flourished since leaving Barca initially on loan in 2018] Alcacer is a great player and he’s showing that for Dortmund and the national team. He’s playing regularly with Dortmund. What we know about him is both an advantage and a disadvantage

2019 09 17 Retrieve

[Borussia Dortmund vs Barcelona. Hype has grown surrounding Ansu Fati, who announced himself as a potential success against Los Che] Becoming a Barcelona player is not straightforward. It’s not normal to score with your first touch, give an assist with your second and almost score with your third

[Valverde has stressed that it is how the team finishes rather than starts that is more important in this competition] Last year we won eight or nine games, we lost one and we didn’t reach the final. The two teams in the final lost more games than us. The important thing is to get back up. That belongs to the past and now the future begins. Football always gives you another chance

2019 09 18 Retrieve

[Barca head coach Valverde admitted they had Ter Stegen to thank after he made a string of fine saves] It was a difficult game in a great atmosphere. We had to suffer a lot, especially after the break when we lost control and they were very dangerous. In the first half we dominated a bit more. We were lacking in the final third. We have to thank Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his outstanding saves. We know we have to improve away from home. We tried giving Messi a few minutes and Luis Suarez played from the start

People know what I’m capable of. I just want to concentrate wholly on my work and perform at 100 per cent of my capabilities. Today I think I demonstrated that

2019 09 18b Retrieve

[Valverde pleased with Messi’s cameo in Barcelona return in his return as Barcelona drew 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League] He’s like any player who hasn’t had a pre-season. He’s had to play in a game at an incredible pace, which had already started, all without preparation. It’s his first 30 minutes. He’s done enough. It was also the first full game for Luis Suarez

[Ter Stegen thwarted Dortmund on more than one occasion in the second 45 minutes and Valverde hailed the Germany international] In La Liga we were saying that opponents score against us. But tonight, he was very good. We have a great goalkeeper and we benefit from that

The result is what it is. We suffered a lot and have to recognise that. It’s something we knew would happen. It was a complicated game

2019 09 20 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde believes Barcelona need to be more forceful if they are to rectify their poor away form] When we are away from home, our level of effectiveness and possession decreases. It is costing us in that we are not getting the results we expect when playing away. Everything we have been doing well at home we forget to do away. We want to change this. We must be more forceful and decisive

[Lionel Messi made his first appearance of the season from the bench in Tuesday’s stalemate with Dortmund] Messi played well against Dortmund, despite having been out for a while. We hope that as he gets more minutes. He gives us a lot - like he always has. His presence changes things in the attack. We will see who will play against Granada

[Asked if Dembele is now behind Fati in the pecking order] We will see if he has taken his place. So far they have not trained together. There is competition in the team and it will stay that way. It is a matter we will answer over time

2019 09 21 Retrieve

[Granada vs Barcelona. Barca rode their luck somewhat against Dortmund in their Champions League curtain raiser on Tuesday, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s fine performance in goal integral to the Catalans earning a point. The keeper even saved a Marco Reus penalty] We suffered a lot and you have to admit that. There were some moments when we lost the ball in important zones and they got three or four counters and it complicated things for us but Marc was really good. And while we dominated the end of the game, we hardly had any chances

2019 09 22 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde admits he is to blame for Barcelona’s poor form after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Granada confirmed their worst LaLiga start in 25 years] In the end the actors are the players and the coach is responsible. I feel responsible for what has happened. You can lose but when you lose you have to deserve to win - and today we have not deserved it. Away from home we are not reaping good results. When it happens in four games it is already a symptom that we are not too well. Today we have not been well. Away from home we are not playing good games. We are dominating but we do not translate it into goal situations. It is also true that the opponent is scoring the first goal

[Valverde gave credit to Granada, who have won three La Liga games in a row without conceding a goal] Granada deserve a lot of credit and we have to recognise it. They have been intense, strong, they have troubled us a lot. The first goal has put the game in their hands and they hit us when they hurt us the most. They have made their game and that we have not played well is to their credit

2019 09 23 Retrieve

[Valverde said after Ansu Fati bagged another goal and assist against Valencia] He is a player who has something special. For his age it seems that he is more mature. What you see in training is what you see here

[Despite being six years younger than Dembele, Fati has quickly shown more maturity on the training ground] Wherever you are, the player who earns his place is the one that plays, there is no secret, the coaches want players to come out - if they are young and have energy you use them. Ansu has qualities that suit us, we will see the potential he has

2019 09 23b Retrieve

[Ousmane Dembele has been included in Barcelona’s latest matchday squad, but Ernesto Valverde has opted to leave Ivan Rakitic out of his final 18] If Ivan Rakitic’s not there, it’s because someone else is. He hasn’t got an issue, it’s a question of players, we have a lot in midfield

We want to pick up the six points in play this week. The fans have been behind us at both home games and we hope that’s the case again tomorrow versus a great team like Villarreal

2019 09 23c Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde dismissed claims of Barcelona being in crisis] In the world of football, we talk about a crisis every three days and in three days you can be out of the crisis. That’s what we want: we want to pick up the six points available this week. Why are we in this situation? Because we haven’t won, that’s clear. There were moments when we weren’t creating enough chances to turn the game around

There are things we have to improve but, apart from the second half against Dortmund, none of our opponents have really been bombarding us with chances. We’re getting penalised by occasional, one-off things that are happening. We’re creating the chances, but we need to create more. That’s where we really need to improve. We need to create more than the opposition

[Anything less than victory at Camp Nou would pile further pressure on Valverde, who has faced stern scrutiny since last season’s Champions League semi-final collapse against Liverpool] It’s not new. I have felt under examination from the beginning. There is a very large demand on coaches, much more in the case of Barca. The coach is always in the spotlight. It’s no surprise

2019 09 24 Retrieve

[Barcelona vs Villarreal. Valverde is under no illusions as to his current job security] It’s nothing new. There’s a huge demand on all of us coaches, even more so at Barcelona. I’m in a position where results matter. It’s time to get over this pothole

2019 09 24b Retrieve

[Barca would go on to win the match 2-1 against Villarreal, with Arthur Melo’s stunner from long range proving to be the winner. After the game, Valverde confirmed that Messi had suffered a groin injury] When something happens to Messi the entire world stops, not only on the pitch but fans. It happened when he suffered problems in his arm [last season], now he is suffering a small pain in the adductor muscle and we didn’t want to take risks

[Asked if Messi was already ruled out for Saturday’s game at Getafe] We will see tomorrow but we won’t take any risks because he just recovered from an injury

2019 09 25 Retrieve

[Valverde used Griezmann in a wide position against Villarreal and feels the striker’s versatility will be an asset going forward] We knew when he came that he can move in several positions in the front. He works, he gets involved in the game and we see him do well. And every day he is more integrated

2019 09 25b Retrieve

[Messi has struggled for fitness this season, making just two La Liga appearances and Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to play him against Getafe] We will see tomorrow but we won’t take any risks because he just recovered from an injury

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[Valverde unsure how long latest Messi injury will keep Barcelona star out] I don’t know how long he will be out. We hope he will be with the team soon. It is not serious, it is a small strain and we will see next week how everything goes. If he is [playing] we have strengths and if he does not then we lack an absolutely decisive player. But we have resources to manage. It is a setback but we must continue

[Meanwhile, Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal continues to cut a frustrated figure] I do not know what will happen because I do not know what will happen in the future. He is participating and there are many people in the centre of midfield and everyone knew this. I have not found the formula to play with 11 midfielders, it is impossible for me

2019 09 27b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Barcelona are set to appeal a €300 fine over their approach for Antoine Griezmann] I don’t know the exact ins and outs of this question or how it stands legally. I understand the club is appealing

[Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Barca in the close season and reports suggested the Brazil forward was willing to drop the case if the club promised to re-sign him] This never stops does it? In August we were waiting for the transfer market to close, but the Neymar matter continues. I’ve got nothing to say, it’s an internal club issue and for the player on a contractual matter, it’s not my concern. Has there been a press conference without Neymar’s name being brought up? Let’s try to do it once this season

[Neymar’s Brazil team-mate Arthur was seen having dinner with the Paris Saint-Germain forward this week. Last season the midfielder was criticised for travelling to Paris to attend Neymar’s birthday shortly before Barcelona’s Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid] I think Arthur learned a lot last season, one of those things was what you’re talking about. I think he’s fine at the moment and hope things stay this way. It’s not up to me to evaluate further than him going out for dinner with a friend. He’s fine and I hope he stays that way for the rest of the season

2019 09 27c Retrieve

[Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said of Ansu Fati] I’d like Ansu Fati to be with us. If he goes with the Under-21 team it would be for the international break, for the Under-17s it would be longer. We’ll have to wait and see what decision the confederation makes so there isn’t much else to say. We’d like him to be away for as little time as possible

[Messi suffered a groin injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 home win over Villarreal, with Valverde unsure how long the 32-year-old will be out] I don’t know how long he’s going to be out, hopefully he’ll be back with the team soon. It’s not a serious injury so let’s wait and see what he looks like today and going into next week. If he plays we have certain strengths, if he’s not we’re missing a top-quality player who makes a huge difference. We have other resources to take games on and we’ve done that. It’s a setback but we can only keep going

[They go to Getafe on the back of a run of seven straight away games in all competitions without a win, while their hosts are unbeaten in six matches and Valverde is expecting a tough challenge at Coliseum Alfonso Perez] They’re a solid team, it’s hard to cope with their pressure. Very good in attack with players that come through to put you under pressure. It was hard to win there [2-1] last year, we played a good game, but it was difficult. They always make chances at home and don’t give away many. Sometimes it’s like we have to win as soon as possible to stop a problem. We want to win the points always. We haven’t won away or played well away, in general we haven’t played well away and we need to focus on that. Sometimes the score works out and sometimes it doesn’t. You need to play good football, and this is what gets results

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi could yet feature in Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Inter on Wednesday] We will see if he [Messi] receives it [the all-clear to play]. First we have training. What I reiterate is that we will not run any risk and we have to wait for training. On Monday Dembele did the first part of the training, so now we see if he can do more on Tuesday. Leo did half the training on Monday, we’ll see if he can finish [Tuesday’s session]. I don’t know if we can count on them in the end

[In last season’s Champions League, Barca beat Inter 2-0 in Camp Nou and drew 1-1 in Milan, though Valverde expects an entirely different challenge this time around] It is a team that has changed many things; players, the coach, they’re playing with a different system, even if there are similar things, such as their intention to push up. They have had a spectacular start, they are winning all their matches and we are waiting for a complicated game. This is another Inter to last year, impacted by the coach, something similar to what we met with Chelsea two seasons ago. It’s a solid team, hard to score against

2019 10 02 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde tried to talk down his star’s injury woes but his attempt at hyperbole was closer to reality than he would have liked] When something happens to Messi, it seems that the world comes to a halt. But it looks like it’s only some minor pain in his adductor. We replaced him as a precaution. We don’t want to take any risks.

[Though Messi has been named in Valverde’s latest squad, the Barca coach concedes the game may come too soon] First we have training. What I reiterate is that we will not run any risk and we have to wait for training. Leo did half the training on Monday, we’ll see if he can finish [Tuesday’s session]. I don’t know if we can count on them in the end

2019 10 03 Retrieve

[Valverde praises impact of ‘tired’ Messi in Barcelona win. Messi returned from injury to help La Liga champions Barca to a 2-1 victory against Intermilan at Camp Nou on Wednesday] It is the first game that he played in full, also a game with a significant physical burden on the opponent and the competition. In any play he can help you even when he is tired. Messi has not done a pre-season like the others, so he has to catch up. In the end he made a fantastic play, but he was more tired than at the beginning

[Lautaro Martinez had silenced the crowd with his second-minute opener] Strikers live in the danger zone. They play in the most difficult area as they are always surrounded by defenders and need to solve the situations against the defenders they have onto them, so that is hard. Sometimes you cannot succeed, like one week ago, but then he scored once for La Liga and twice for Champions League. Luis has probed for a long time already what he is capable of, so he keeps doing so

[Barca have struggled to convince this season amid growing pressure on Valverde and the Spanish boss is aware how crucial the victory was] Of course this is an important win as it was a very important game, given how tight the group table was after the first match-day and also for the upcoming games. From the very first minute you all saw how important this game was for both teams given the intensity we both showed. I hope this comeback will help us for the upcoming fixtures

2019 10 05 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde content to ease Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez back in to Barcelona duty] Of course they are fit again, they showed that [against Intermilan]. I will decide on Sunday whether I start one or the other or bring them on later. They are two players who have struggled with injuries this season but the more they play the more form they will get. We like the players to be picked for international duty because it means they’re not injured, because it means they’re playing at their top level. There are not many players for us going this international break - that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means we will have a more complete squad for training and can work on certain things. But after that fortnight we’ve got important matches in LaLiga and the Champions League and we need to be ready for those. We’re doing well. We’ve hit on a good run, now we’re playing a very strong team, the aim is to keep moving forward

[Barca have been without Jordi Alba since the left-back sustained a hamstring injury in the Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund on September 17] Not having a specific left-footed full-back is unnatural. The players who have had to play there have done well, the players are used to this kind of thing but we’ll see if Jordi can recover. We’ll wait but it’s certainly a possibility. He’s not been declared fully fit yet, he did part of training the other day. He certainly felt fine but we’ll wait to see how things go

2019 10 06 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde was left pondering Ousmane Dembele’s red card at the end of his side’s rout of Sevilla, claiming the Frenchman’s grasp of Spanish would have restricted the words that led to his dismissal] We have had more punch than them, there is the key. The result is substantial, but we don’t have to be forgiving to our rivals. The red cards? It’s the referee’s decision. Everyone has their opinion. I’ve seen a pretty clean game. It didn’t seem like Araujo’s fault, but I always see everything in favour of my team.

2019 10 17 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says the first Clasico of the season against Real Madrid should go ahead as planned at Camp Nou on October 26] There has been a lot of chatter about that game. There was the possibility of changing the order of matches and playing the game at Madrid first, but we don’t see that. We have an away game this weekend, then [we would have another] next weekend, and then we have to go travel again. And not just because of that, but it’s about respecting the calendar and the fans, and the normal thing is to play at our pitch, but we’ll see what happens

People are getting a bit ahead of themselves with regard to this game. This has been a strange week in Barcelona, everyone knows that, but there’s time still and we trust the game will be played in our stadium, which is what we want. There are nine days left before we play. We also played at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid [in 2017, after the Catalan independence referendum] and everyone said there would be drama and there was our fans, their fans - everyone has a right to express an opinion in the ground and we think the same thing will happen here. Everybody’s thinking about whether the game’s going to be moved, and it’s an opportunity to show there is respect for your opponents that it can be played, and it’s an important match for people to see. It should be played under normal circumstances. People can express their opinions in the stadium in a natural way

[Amid a suggestion a decision on the fixture could be taken as early as this Thursday by league officials, Valverde was asked whether a postponement might most help Barca or Madrid] I don’t know, we’re going to wait and see. We’d be coming off a Wednesday [game] and they off a Tuesday [game]. It could seem we benefit more by not having to play, but those things are not very important. These games are so highly anticipated that I think the players are ready to play them whenever they are played

2019 10 18 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says it’s too early to expect a lot of Lionel Messi as he eases his way back to full fitness] He is in the process of being 100 per cent fit. The other day he played 90 minutes and scored, and that always reassures the strikers. He has to go slowly to reach top form. He only has one full game under his belt, we hope he can give us much more in the coming matches

[Their coach is happy to have bounced back from their bad start, but admitted it had left them some way short of where they would like to be] We have had a difficult time but what I like is that we have been able to react. It is what we have been doing in recent years, overcoming slumps. What we would like is to go top, but we can’t do that because we have slipped up

[Despite their good form and Messi’s injury-hit start to the year, coach Jose Luis Mendilibar is aware of the Argentine’s dominance over his club] Against us Messi always scores goals. [But] we can’t be obsessed with him and the key is to stop the whole team. We have a plan to stop Barcelona, and Messi is among them

2019 10 21 Retrieve

[The away win comes days after the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) postponed El Clasico – the match Barcelona and Real Madrid later this month at the Camp Nou – due to the ongoing protests] In the end, the top players always end up playing well together and learn how they need to play to get the best out of each other. They participated a lot and worked very well together and today we got what we deserved

2019 10 24 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde heaped praise on Barcelona’s record-breaking superstar Lionel Messi following Wednesday’s Champions League victory] He’s the player who can decide any game. Every day we see him he’s even better. One more record for the incredible Leo. They are easy to say, it seems natural, but it is very difficult to achieve

[Valverde under no illusions that there win on Wednesday was far from perfect] These games, you have to know how to play them. We have lacked peace of mind in the opposite field. I think we had clearer chances than they did. You always want to rule the matches from minute one to 90. Today we had to suffer, from time to time we must suffer. There are times when you will have to go down to the mud and defend certain situations

2019 10 25 Retrieve

[RFEF have confirmed that the Clasico will instead take place on Wednesday December 18. Neither club had wanted to postpone the game at all] We want to play the Clasico with our fans on the 26th. I see this as an opportunity for many people from here, for our fans, to show that it can be played perfectly in a natural way

2019 10 28 Retrieve

[Valverde backs Barca players to solve problems ‘within the club’ after Ter Stegen comments] When matches end, everyone leaves with an opinion of what happened on the field. Matches can be seen in many ways, and if we have to solve something, we will solve it with within the club and not publicly. When the game ends, people’s impression is of the final minutes and they don’t think about the overall game. In the first half of the Slavia game we had two or three chances on goal, they attacked and we did as well. In the second half, they got an early goal and we managed to get the result we wanted in the end. They pressed us and that’s it. If it had been a 4-1 win, we would be talking like we had the same result as in Eibar [a 3-0 victory]. This is football and it is normal

[La Liga’s reigning champions are back in action on Tuesday with a home match against Real Valladolid, who have already taken points off Madrid and Atletico this term] They have had a good run and against the top teams have got some good results. Taking into account last year’s game [a 1-0 win for Barca] which was complicated, this is a game which we have many hopes for after the break this week. They have reinforced their style because they are doing well. I expect them to play like they have in recent matches. They will be solid and hard to overcome

[Samuel Umtiti remains a major doubt for the game due to a knee injury] Samuel Umtiti trained apart from the group [on Sunday], though I think it will be difficult for him to participate. There may be some other changes as well. [Perez and Fati] are with the first team and that is, in principle, the idea we have, even though they are able to play with the B team and might at some point play for them. Carles Alena hasn’t played as much as I thought, and he possibly deserves more game time because he is giving everything in training. There is a lot of competition in midfield and he can be called at any time so he has to be prepared

2019 10 29 Retrieve

[coach Ernesto Valverde want the RFEF to stick to the original date of the Clasico against Real Madrid] We want to play the Clasico with our fans on the 26th. I see this as an opportunity for many people from here, for our fans, to show that it can be played perfectly in a natural way

2019 10 30 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said he has ‘run out of words’ to describe Lionel Messi after the captain inspired a 5-1 rout of Real Valladolid] What else can be said about him? I’ve run out of words. We always know that he will appear, whatever the match. His talent isn’t comparable to anything; the reality is that every time he touches the ball, something special happens. I just don’t know what to say.

He is getting closer to his best form [after injury], when Leo gets it something bad will happen to the rival. He has that talent that nobody has, he escapes anyone and it is not only that he can make an individual play but he does things that nobody sees. It happens to me sometimes, he does things that are not seen even from the crowd, every day is better

[Barca are two points clear of Granada and Atletico Madrid after 10 games] We value very much what we do. We have in memory what we have done but we want to look forward and win this league. It is not easy to take the games forward, Valladolid tied against Atletico and Real Madrid and it is not easy to beat them

2019 10 30b Retrieve

[Messi produced two goals and two assists in Barcelona’s 5-1 La Liga drubbing of Real Valladollid on Tuesday night, which took his side to the top of the table] We else can be said about him? I’ve run out of words. His talent isn’t comparable to anything, he has a talent nobody else has. He can get past anybody, but it’s not just a question of him doing an individual move. The reality is that every time he touches the ball, something special happens. I just don’t know what to say. We have times in training, you think he’s going to pass to the left or the right but he passes somewhere else you can’t anticipate. You only see it with this type of player. He’s feeling better every day. He’s getting back to form after a spell out of the team

2019 11 02 Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde does not see Lionel Messi’s recall to the Argentina national team as a setback to the La Liga giants] Look, we know that if Messi is active, there’s a good chance he gets called up to the national team. He hasn’t been [in the Argentina squad] because of suspension, but now that’s over it’s normal for him to be back for Argentina. It’s something we accept, he accepts. I don’t think it’s a setback as such

[Defender Samuel Umtiti has endured a wretched time with injuries over the past 18 months] Let’s see how he does in training today [Friday]. He’s had fitness issues hanging over from last year, that’s why he’s not playing regularly. Hopefully we can get this sorted once and for all so he can play more regularly, but the other thing is competition for places. Lenglet is playing very well. He [Lenglet] is an absolutely reliable player, very professional in what he does. He’s really settling into his position. Shortly after arriving last season, he covered extremely well for Samuel and the French team is also aware of how well he is playing

2019 11 02b Retrieve

[Valverde rejects talk of resignation after Levante shock Barcelona. Asked if he was surprised by his players’ performance or contemplating resignation] No to both of those questions. I’m not thinking of resigning - only looking forward. Everything just collapsed. We didn’t start the second half well and we weren’t creating any danger. Then, although they weren’t causing us too many problems, they put two goals past us in two minutes. The third goal after that really punished us.

Our opponents play against us as if it’s the biggest game of the year and so you need to be able to respond. We know what this result means and what it means to win at these grounds. You need to make a massive effort, but my team is used to that. They had a great second half and managed to beat us. We have to analyse what happened and ask ourselves why it did

2019 11 02c Retrieve

[With more recent wins at Eibar and Getafe, Barca looked to have gotten the monkey off their back - but manager Valverde says they now have to do it again] We are not playing the same season at home as we are away. But after the first games when we couldn’t win away, we then did it. We have to keep going, that’s it. We have to analyse it and ask ourselves why it has happened. The criticism is always very strong and we will have to react to it, but it is no different to any other time

2019 11 04 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has challenged Ousmane Dembele to earn his place in the Barcelona team] Everyone always has to earn their place - Dembele is no exception. When he plays, he can stay in that position [if he plays well], as happens to Ansu Fati, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann or Gerard Pique. When you have your chance, you will have to try to stay [in the team]

[Valverde was also questioned over the future of Riqui Puig amid reports the midfielder may push to leave in January to get first-team football] I don’t know what can happen in the next transfer window - there is still time. We have a lot of midfielders. With his talent, it is clear he will play at Barca. What we do not know is when

2019 11 04b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde understands the pressure is increasing at Barcelona following their shocking collapse against Levante] It is clear that, when you lose, you have more tension. We know what it means to lose. There is always a swell of pressure. We know that it is the case, and that is fine because it forces us to react. I know that the general tendency is to get off the table if we do well or sink if we lose. I try to maintain a balance. When we lose a game, I try to find the football reasons. At the beginning of the season, we were not well, especially away from home. Then we had a three-game winning streak. The other day [against Levante], when we had everything on track, we lost it in a minute. We have to ask ourselves why we have lost and the game situations that led to this [happening].

[Asked if the worrying slumps were a sign of a lack of leadership, he referenced their battling 2-1 home win over Inter when they rallied from a goal down to triumph at Camp Nou] Lack of leadership? You could have asked yourself that after coming back with Intermilan. This team has come back in many games, also against Real Betis [when they trailed 1-0 but ending up winning 5-2 in La Liga this season]. You can’t always [come back], you just have to admit that and look at where we failed

[Valverde revealed that, while the Uruguayan striker is set to miss Tuesday’s clash with Sparta, Suarez may recover in time to face Celta Vigo this weekend] It’s not an important injury like last time. Tomorrow is very unlikely. Next week? I wouldn’t like to say

2019 11 05 Retrieve

[Valverde accepts Barcelona boos as Catalans fail to fire in Champions League] The other day we lost against Levante and it does not escape us that the last two have not been our best matches. We know there is a lot of pressure on the team and we have to respond. In football, everything happens very fast. Three days ago we were in a great moment and three days later it seems that we have entered a pothole. But that means that in three days we can turn it around

[Asked about the reaction of Barcelona fans at full-time] It is okay to be demanding of the team

2019 11 06 Retrieve

[Valverde accepted fans were within their right to jeer his side after their performance on Tuesday but backed them to turn their form around] The other day we lost against Levante and it does not escape us that the last two have not been our best matches. We know there is a lot of pressure on the team and we have to respond. In football, everything happens very fast. Three days ago we were in a great moment and three days later it seems that we have entered a pothole. But that means that in three days we can turn it around

2019 11 08 Retrieve

[Valverde says Antoine Griezmann must adapt to Barca’s style of play] A lot is said about his situation, but I think it’s a lot simpler than it seems. He is used to a different type of football. I played against Simeone teams lots - his players drop back quickly. As soon as they lose the ball, they run back. Players like Koke and Saul Niguez, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata. That’s the way Atletico play, a side that likes to get back and fill space. At Barcelona, we play a short passing game. It’s a case of looking for players and seeing space. Antoine is generous in that way - in fact we ask that of him, to lose his marker and create space. When you go forward you must come back but I think he needs to mature into the way we play. Likewise, our players need to get used to the things Antoine does. It’s not been easy in his first year, but once players start to gel it rolls a lot more smoothly

[Jordi Alba suffered a relapse of a previous hamstring injury against Slavia, potentially opening the door for Junior Firpo to start for the first time since September when Celta Vigo travel to Camp Nou on Saturday] This could be a game for Junior Firpo to have a chance. We are happy with him. He is a good player and will do good things for us

2019 11 08b Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde insists he is not worried about his future at the club] I’m not worried about my future. The other day I had dinner [with Bartomeu]. I feel supported and respected. Whether you understand [the criticism] or not, it’s how it is. I don’t have much to say. If we’d scored a goal [against Slavia], everyone would be more calm. It’s how it is. You have to accept things as they come. A week ago, we were on the highway, we had seven wins in a row. Now, we’ll see

[Despite a relative lack of preparation time for the match at Camp Nou, Valverde is determined to get his team back to winning ways] We need a win. We lost a game in six minutes [at Levante]. We need to get back on the path of taking three points because we need them and because we know what it means for this team to lose. We’re motivated and we know how difficult a game it will be. We prepared for Slavia in two training sessions because we didn’t have any more. It’s normally like that for the whole season. There are two game days, four to prepare for the games - that seems normal to me

2019 11 09 Retrieve

[Barcelona winless in their past two matches, pressure has quickly mounted on Valverde, but the man himself believes his position is secure] I’m not worried about my future. The other day I had dinner [with Bartomeu]. I feel supported and respected. Whether you understand [the criticism] or not, it’s how it is. I don’t have much to say. If we’d scored a goal [against Slavia], everyone would be more calm. It’s how it is. You have to accept things as they come. A week ago, we were on the highway, we had seven wins in a row. Now, we’ll see

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Valverde says It’s impossible not to depend on Messi] It’s impossible not to depend on Messi. That’s how it works. He lights up everything. Today we were fluent and he scored three times. It is an advantage that we have, that our opponents fear and that is fine. When we win, we all win. Those who play are many, besides Leo. Everyone does their job

[Valverde admitted the defeat at Levante created an unsettled atmosphere at Camp Nou] When you do not win, there is uncertainty surrounding your environment. It’s good that it happens because you have to react. Because when you are used to a regular feeling, it forces you to improve

[The Blaugrana are top of La Liga on goal difference after 12 games, and will travel to Leganes on November 23 before meeting Borussia Dortmund at home in the Champions League] We will take the opportunity to rest. Some players leave, others stay, but after this break come very strong matches in which we play a lot

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde warns Davis Cup must not distract Pique] I have talked with Gerard Pique about this issue and I see him as being focused. If I don’t think he’s focused enough someone else will play. If he arrives in condition, he will be on the list. He has issues outside of football. Players are always blamed if they don’t do anything else and only know football

[Asked if Pique has permission to travel to Madrid again on Friday] If he travels, you will see if we gave him permission. We have to leave him alone, Saturday we have an important game

I look at my team, what matters to me is how I see the team. I know there are many eyes on Griezmann but he is giving us many things in terms of work, goals and clarity of play. We think he can give us more

[Valverde wants to see the exciting Griezmann get a long run of games under his belt] I think it’s important he has continuity in his daily work and gets playing time. Since his first injury last season against Getafe, trying to get him back quickly has been counterproductive. He’s had several relapses or different episodes with different muscular injuries and hasn’t been able to perform the way he would have wanted. We hope we can start getting some regular rhythm

2019 11 26 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has called for perspective over Barcelona’s form, with his side top of LaLiga and on track to qualify for the next round of the Champions League] Of course, when we don’t play well there are things we have to improve, but you need perspective. We won at Leganes at the weekend, last year we lost. Other times we’ve won and not played well. We have to learn from the games where we don’t play well. That’s what this is about, we don’t need to jump off a cliff when we don’t play the way we want to. We’re first in La Liga, first in our Champions League group and we want to keep on this path. Playing well is getting a lot of scoring chances, you defend well, you attack well. We try to get the result we want through our play. We’ve had a lot of goals from set pieces, but we’ve been attacking to get into position to get those set pieces. All the other teams are trying to stop us and sometimes they do

[Barca will be without Gerard Pique through suspension for Dortmund’s visit] I didn’t want to risk Lenglet the other day and we think he could be ready. We know Pique is out and we also have Samuel Umtiti. Jean-Clair Todibo and Ronald Araujo are also possibilities

[Araujo has only played 14 minutes in LaLiga this season but Valverde feels the 20-year-old has a bright future] He’s from the academy, he’s played with us and he wants to learn. He’s serious and I think he can help us as he’s strong and quick

2019 11 28 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde praised the amazing Lionel Messi after the star led Barcelona past Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday] Luis and Leo understand each other perfectly because they have been together for a long time. At first it wasn’t like that. Messi is an extraordinary passer and Griezmann was unmarked as well. You just have to find the timing. And of Leo’s match, what am I going to say? It was amazing. It is not only what he does, but when he does it

[Valverde was disappointed for Griezmann, who has battled numerous injuries since his move to Barca from Dortmund in 2017] I don’t know if it’s a relapse or what leg it is. It has been a rare move because it has been in a jump, in which the leg has gone backwards. I don’t know. Right now we are sad for him because we are qualified but the bad news is the injury. We know he is suffering and we will see if we can help him

2019 12 01 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde believes voting for the Ballon d’Or should be easy, saying Lionel Messi deserved to win the award] I don’t follow these awards galas because they are too long. My vote, well, I guess, is the same as yours. I would vote for the best, obviously. Ever year you always vote depending on how the seasons have gone for the players. But if you have to give it to the best, let’s just give it to Messi and the problem is solved

2019 12 02 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said having Lionel Messi is always a huge advantage] In games which are even and hard, to have Leo is always a huge advantage

[While Barca were second best to Atletico for periods of the blockbuster showdown in Madrid, Valverde was happy with his team] I liked everything. We suffered at the start and we’ve got the three points. We don’t have to think about the bad things now

You have to suffer here but we have won and picked up three really important points, which is what is important. We expected Atletico to start as they did. We had to be strong in the first 20 minutes. They were doing damage on every attack. As the game went on, we got more control and both sides had clear chances. We had the better of the second half

[Valverde also allayed injury concerns over Gerard Pique, who was forced off with seven minutes remaining in the Spanish capital] I think he’s ok. He could have carried on, but better not to risk him

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has moved to quell speculation that Lionel Messi might be ready to quit the game imminently] It’s something natural, he’s 32 years old. I don’t think he’s going to retire tomorrow or in three days, but when you get past 30, you see that the end is nearer. The subject is given too much thought

Sometimes it doesn’t let you enjoy every day. It’s something that you will value over time. In many years’ time, I’ll be able to look back and say that I coached Messi

Everything can happen very fast. If you play a bad game like against Leganes, it feels like we’re very bad, but three days later we beat Borussia Dortmund and are suddenly very good again. We’re at a key moment of the season. We’re strong and we don’t want to stop being that way

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde opened the door for Arturo Vidal’s departure in January] Vidal is our player. We are happy with him. There are so many rumours. We will see tomorrow if he plays or not. And when the January transfer window arrives, we will see what happens. There’s a lot of things going on in January but it’s true that we have a lot of midfielders. Some have played more than others but all of them are needed

2019 12 08 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde said Lionel Messi’s record-breaking hat-trick was a good way to celebrate the Ballon d’Or] Unbelievable. It was a good way to celebrate the Ballon d’Or

[On Suarez’s 43rd-minute goal] The situation took me by surprise. I thought it was a pass to a team-mate. It surprised me, but it was an extraordinary goal. I told him that there had been a few easier chances and this one, which was improbable, went in

2019 12 08b Retrieve

[Valverde admitted he was surprised to see Suarez to score such a stunning back-heel goal] The situation took me by surprise. I thought it was a pass to a team-mate. It surprised me, but it was an extraordinary goal. I told him that there had been a few easier chances and this one, which was improbable, went in

2019 12 09 Retrieve

[Valverde clarifies Argentine’s Inter absence ahead of crucial Clasico] Messi getting rest. Nothing more. We come from important games and we have important games and I have decided that some players do not come. Last year we played a great game here. Without Messi, by the way

[Asked what he expects from Inter this time around] The best. They are the leaders of Serie A and in the first match they played a great game. They are making a great start to the championship, but in the end you have to compete. We come here to compete, but knowing that they have a great team

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has hailed Lautaro Martinez as a great player] He is a great player and he’s having a great season. He is quick and strong. He scored a great goal in the first game at the Camp Nou. I know he is comfortable with [Romelu] Lukaku, they’ve found the right mechanism to help Inter. As for Lautaro being similar to Luis Suarez, they are a little different but both are born goalscorers. But Intermilan have so many good players, Lautaro, Lukaku, Milan Skriniar

[Valverde made it clear the Argentine superstar was just being rested with the team in the midst of a taxing schedule] Messi is getting rest. Nothing more. We come from important games and we have important games [coming up] and I have decided that some players do not come. Last year we played a great game here - without Messi, by the way

2019 12 10b Retrieve

[Coach Ernesto Valverde also spoke of the two goal scorers and was particularly thrilled by Ansu Fati’s record as he found a way to fire despite not being completely fit] Carles Perez has the nose for more goals and strikes the ball really nicely. Ansu is a born scorer and, although he’s had some niggling pain, we wanted him to have some minutes. That it’s a Barca lad who’s the youngest ever scorer in this competition delights us

2019 12 11 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde described Ansu Fati as a born scorer] They [Fati and Perez] are two players who have reached the first team this year. Young players, very young in the case of Ansu. The game was complicated, especially for Carles Perez because they had an experienced defence and he started, but he has a goal because he hits the ball well. Ansu has been going through some physical difficulty, with some discomfort, but he is a born scorer

[Valverde talked up the importance of the Champions League to the Catalans, who last lifted the trophy in 2015] We have a very big obligation with our club and with this competition. We have shown that you have to win everywhere and today’s game was not going to be an exception

[Valverde wants to see more from his team, who make the trip to Real Sociedad on Saturday] We are fine, but I like to see everything in a more continuous way. At first we had difficulties. This group phase has been difficult for us. We suffered to overcome Inter, to win at Slavia [Prague]. But we are here and we have a tremendous challenge with three games in a week and we want to close well

2019 12 11b Retrieve

[Messi was rested for that mid-week encounter with Barca coach Ernesto Valverde stressing that his non-selection wasn’t an issue] Messi getting rest. Nothing more. We come from important games and we have important games and I have decided that some players do not come. Last year we played a great game here - without Messi, by the way

2019 12 13 Retrieve

[Valverde hails ‘historic’ Pedro as talk of Barcelona return builds] He’s an historic Barca player - let’s not kid ourselves. He’s one of the players to win the most titles with this club, but he plays for another club now. We have to respect players at other clubs. We’ll see what might happen in the future

[Rakitic struggled for game time early in the season and even admitted his situation was causing him to fall out of love with football] He’s playing well, as is everybody else. We’re in a clinical time of the season and we’ve found some good form. When it’s the summer window, people start asking what happens, then you get to breathe a bit and then it’s the winter market. We have to deal with the challenges we have with the players we have. Rakitic has missed lots of games but he’s playing more games now, and if he’s doing that, it’s because he’s playing well

[Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed after his side’s defeat to Barca that Vidal was of interest to them] How can I respond to information that comes or doesn’t come from us? This information came from Inter. They will know. In our case, the market has not yet opened. Arturo is our player and we’ll need him if we think it convenient

2019 12 14 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde declined to be critical of referee Javier Alberola Rojas follwong two penalty decisions against Barcelona in their 2-2 draw away to Real Sociedad in La Liga] From the bench you see the game with the shirt of your team on. The penalty to Pique? I have not seen it repeated but I will say that it is a penalty and that the Busquets one was not. I guess the coach of la Real will say the opposite

[Valverde highlighted the fact his side had faced a stiff opponent in fourth-placed Sociedad] We had a great team in front of us that is having a great season. The game was very intense in every way. What do you think? We are dying here, on the bench, and are we going to think about the Clasico? You think about what you have in front of you

2019 12 16 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde insists Napoli will be dangerous opponents in the Champions League last 16] Napoli are a dangerous team. Clearly, they’re not going through their best moment. They’ve had a change of coach and they’ll have to adapt bit by bit. We’ll see how they are and how everyone is heading into February, but without a doubt, we’ll have to prepare for the tie really well. It’ll be a strong atmosphere, with a big stadium, one of those where the fans are very close. But that’s fine. In that sense, we’re used to playing in front of atmospheres of this kind and it’ll be beautiful to experience everything in general around Naples as a city

2019 12 18 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde explained Sergio Busquets was a late omission from Barcelona’s Clasico line-up against Real Madrid due to a fever] It is true that Busquets was feeling bad, he had a fever, before the game. We thought we could have used him in the second half but not in the end. The coach makes the decision based on what he sees

It was a very disputed match in which there were phases for both teams. They squeezed us high and created problems with high balls. That’s where we’ve suffered

[On Madrid’s high pressing] We expected this. In the end they are situations of individual duels that you must solve. Sometimes we have achieved it and sometimes not

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Clasico turns violent with nine arrested as police and fans clash outside Camp Nou] There was tension in the game and I noticed when some yellow balls fell down. But nothing more. We tried to give a sense of normality

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Barcelona not expecting January sales amid Jean-Clair Todibo & Arturo Vidal transfer talk] I’m really happy with the players I’ve got. I don’t expect any modifications.

[The fallout from a Clasico stalemate with the Blancos continues to rumble on in Spain] People will always be talking after Clasicos - this was one where we had a two-month build up to it and the post-Clasico debates will always be intense. Some people play football on the pitch, some are in the press room, we’ve all got to eat! That’s what our jobs are. I really don’t like getting involved in these discussions, there’s nothing to be gained. Controversies are always going to be part of football

[Valverde stressed that the use of technology will never bring an end to the controversies] We have talked about this before, with VAR the polemics won’t end. It is united to football, is in many conversations, many previews and post matches, social gatherings. Sometimes we forget that the VAR is here to help the referee but it’s the referee who judges. Sometimes one club complains, sometimes others. I have the feeling that 2020 will remain the same

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde paid tribute to Lionel Messi for his innate ability to make a decisive impact following a wonderful goal in 4-1 win over Deportivo Alaves on Saturday] All matches require a lot. When they scored, they were spurred on and they had the chance to equalise, but Leo scored a great goal and things are seen in a different way from there. I think we played the game well, I would say the first half was very good, then we had less momentum at the beginning of the second. We got a boost with the third goal. These things happen with Messi. We see it all the time. Something like that can happen, and it’s a huge advantage that we have Messi. Leo appears and makes you a goal from anywhere

2020 01 03 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde has admitted he admires Dani Olmo as Barcelona continue to be linked with a big-money move for the Dinamo Zagreb winger] He is a player that has been here before. He’s a good footballer but he’s with another team and I don’t talk about speculation. We have to be cautious

[Barcelona will be without Carles Alena for the rest of the season after the midfielder moved on loan to Real Betis] It’s true that Alena has left. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, but he had an option to leave because his contract said so. Now we have one player less in this position and we will see what happens. I’m not thinking about more departures, we’ll count on what we have

[Abelardo took over from Pablo Machin, becoming Espanyol’s third boss of the season, with a remit to rescue the team from the foot of the table] When you have a change of coach you always look for a reaction. They’re wanting to start the second half of the season with a coach who has experience of these types of situations. I would like them to stay in the Primera

2020 01 05 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde said Frenkie de Jong’s sending-off hurt Barcelona at a crucial moment in their 2-2 derby draw with Espanyol and noted his side’s difficulties in killing off games] We have to fight in every match. We started badly, we managed to come back but unfortunately we went down to 10. They pressed and equalised. Frenkie’s dismissal did us a lot of damage. We were unable to score a third. This is football. It was a very competitive game, a derby with a lot of tension and emotion. If you’re winning and the opponent equalises, you leave with the impression of having lost two points

[Valverde acknowledged his players are capable of digging their way out of difficult situations but thinks they have struggled to go for the jugular when it matters] In a lot of games, we cash in first. We managed to take the lead in four away games, whereas in other games we managed to come from behind. We have a reaction capacity, but we are not always able to kill the match. The sending-off affected the match

2020 01 08 Retrieve

[Barcelona’s team bus gets lost in Jeddah as Supercopa news conference delayed] We certainly know the city a bit better now. There was a little mistake. We went to the stadium where Real Madrid and Valencia play tonight. He realised before we arrived but then there was some traffic, so we were late

[Valverde conceded he preferred the previous Supercopa format] It is a different format than we are used to. It’s a final match and we approach it as a league game, knowing that we are looking for victory and we know how difficult it is to play against Atleti. We already saw it in the league, which we solved in the end. If they [the authorities] give me a choice, I prefer the previous format.

It has always been the first title of the season, the game that opens the season, and I thought it was good. The Supercopa format has been changed and we will see how it is. We must bear in mind that the football we are involved in is an industry, sources of income are sought and in the same way that there are special connotations in this country, there are also in Morocco, where we played last year

2020 01 09 Retrieve

[Vidal is widely believed to be keen on leaving Camp Nou during the current transfer window, but Barca manager Ernesto Valverde said he wasn’t considering any potential exit] We’re not thinking about him going to another team. We’ll see tomorrow [Thursday]. In principle he’s with us. No clues. Arturo Vidal plays for us […] we don’t pay any attention to other clubs being interested in our players

2020 01 09b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says he isn’t feeling the pressure of mounting speculation about his future at the club] Coaches always move with the idea of working hard and giving everything in every game. We know what football is like, that there is always permanent instability. When the results are bad or when you lose, as has happened tonight, I suppose we will talk about this and other things. It’s inevitable but I will do my job

[Barca were also frustrated by VAR as goals from Messi and Gerard Pique were ruled out for handball and offside respectively] We were dominating the game but there are details that you can’t neglect. It was a game that we dominated, we came back after Atletico got the first goal. We had the game in our hands and they turned it around in two plays. The goal to make it 2-2 came after a situation where we did not know how to stop the game. They overloaded us inside with our defence open, had fast players going forward and surprised us with that play. I don’t think we were outplayed but there were two specific situations in a game we had controlled. They hurt us when it seemed like the game was going our way. I loved that the opponent had been ahead and we turned it around, but then it went the other way again

2020 01 09c Retrieve

[Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said he is not thinking about Arturo Vidal leaving the La Liga champions amid links to Inter and Manchester United] We’re not thinking about him going to another team. We’ll see tomorrow [Thursday]. In principle he’s with us. No clues

[Pressed on reported interest from England and Italy] Arturo Vidal plays for us and tomorrow he’ll be on the pitch or on the bench. We don’t pay any attention to other clubs being interested in our players

[Valverde signalled his disappointment with the new Supercopa format in Saudi Arabia, accusing organisers of money-grabbing] The bottom line is football has become a business and as a business it looks for income. That’s the reason we are all here. It’s a completely different format to what we’re used to. It was always the first title and the opener of the season and to me that seemed fine. It’s been changed and let’s see, it will be judged once it has happened. It’s interesting, with four good teams, but from a sporting point of view, I’m not sure. We must bear in mind that the football we are involved in is an industry, sources of income are sought and in the same way that there are special connotations in this country, there are also in Morocco, where we played last year

2020 01 09d Retrieve

[Barcelona coach Valverde: Supercopa is only in Saudi Arabia for money] The bottom line is football has become a business and as a business it looks for income. That’s the reason we are all here. It’s a completely different format to what we’re used to. It was always the first title and the opener of the season and to me that seemed fine. It’s been changed and let’s see, it will be judged once it has happened. It’s interesting, with four good teams, but from a sporting point of view, I’m not sure. We must bear in mind that the football we are involved in is an industry, sources of income are sought and in the same way that there are special connotations in this country, there are also in Morocco, where we played last year

2020 01 13 Retrieve

[Barcelona sack Valverde, Quique Setien announced as new head coach] Quique Setien will be the new FC Barcelona coach. The man from Cantabria in the north of Spain comes to Barca after having had spells at Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas and Betis, his previous club in the 2018/19 season. Throughout his career he has been a proponent of possession-based, attacking football that has been attractive to the fans

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[Sacked Valverde wishes Setien well in Barcelona post as he thanks Messi & Co for four trophies] My time as FC Barcelona coach has come to an end. It has been an intense two-and-a-half years right from the start. In that time I have enjoyed some joyful moments celebrating victories and trophies but also others that have been tough and difficult. However, above all I would like to highlight my experience with the fans and the affection showed towards me during my time as coach.

I would like to thank the president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the board of directors for giving me the opportunity to coach the first team and their confidence during all this time. I would also like to thank all the people I have worked with at the club for their support and how they treated me during the two-and-a-half seasons, especially those who work in and around the first team and with whom I have shared so many moments at the Ciutat Esportiva and during away trips.

Of course, I would like to thank the players for all their efforts that have allowed us to claim four trophies together. From this day, I wish them all the luck in the world and to the new coach Quique Setien also. All the best to everyone. Visca Barca and Visca Catalonia

2020 01 14b Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde himself has wished Setien luck in a farewell message posted on Barcelona’s official website] Of course, I would like to thank the players for all their efforts that have allowed us to claim four trophies together. From this day, I wish them all the luck in the world and to the new coach Quique Setien also

2020 02 13 Retrieve

[Valverde ‘turning the page’ on Barcelona chapter amid Abidal controversy] I don’t think about that. If I have been unfairly treated, I have to avoid it. It’s about turning the page. In the end, we are thinking about what has happened and why. We’re going to look forward, I don’t have to look back.

[Sporting director Eric Abidal sparked a row with Lionel Messi and chaos at Camp Nou last week as he suggested Barcelona players were not working hard enough for Valverde before the head coach’s exit] Why did I leave? It is not a question for me. This is a part of our trade that you have to accept. Would I like it to be different? Yes, of course

I was incredibly fortunate to coach Barca. I have been there as a player. I know what it means when you go to a club of this calibre. I am delighted to have been there.

When you sign the contract, you know that you are important at the club and, from there, decide the results. We know that the coach is responsible for the players’ performances

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde not keen on Premier League move] People ask me sometimes ‘How about the Premier League?’ and I say ‘Well actually I’d like to go to Australia. A career in football does not last forever and sometimes you think you have to take the opportunity to live in strange places

I applauded Andres when he told me he going to Japan. I thought ‘Wow, he gets to understand a different culture and different people’, and I am also very interested in Japan. You can take great photos in Japan. There are many places I’d like to go. We’ll see what I end up doing, I haven’t been out of work for very long so I don’t have to decide anything yet, I haven’t got a very clear idea at the moment. It’s possible I’d go somewhere abroad. The truth is I like to do strange things so I wouldn’t rule it out

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[Barcelona’s Matchday documentary] When they ask you you about the Barca objectives, what the goals for the year are […] it’s always the same. We must win, always

2020 04 25 Retrieve

[Ernesto Valverde says Messi can’t be compared with anyone] Messi can’t be compared with anyone. It’s very difficult to tell him if you’ve seen this or another player when he does things in training that you haven’t seen yourself. Many times, from the touchline, you’re always thinking what can be the best option and, ultimately, he sees it much better than you from on the pitch. Messi is a very easy player to coach because he also has a great impulse with respect to the team. He has a great ambition to win, he always feels such an obligation to the game as for the club. He transmits that to the group and it forces everyone to be at a higher level. Seeing him play is impressive from afar […] but even more so from up close

[Valverde went on to defend how he set up the team during his time at Camp Nou] It’s about trying to be superior to a rival and dominate in the game, which is having more chances than your opponent and they have fewer than you. There are times when you have possession and not chances and without chances, you don’t have that dominance, but to have chances, you have to have the ball. I like being the master of the ball because you take it off your opponent. The question then is if you’re deep or not with that ball. Each person has to see how they feel at ease to be able to get their message across. Ultimately, possession is a way to win a game. It’s a bit magnified by the media, but it’s nothing more than criteria. If you want to be aggressive with the ball, you also have to be aggressive without it. In my case, it’s about wanting to take the initiative of the game and that happens because the opponent don’t want to play.

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[Former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is not enamoured with the prospect of La Liga having to play the remainder of the season behind closed doors] A couple of games could maybe be fine, but I don’t know what it’s going to be like to have 100 without a crowd. The first ones will be complicated.

[Valverde thought back to his own fleeting experience of football without spectators] It was horrible. We weren’t ready to play that way. Maybe now everyone is a little more psyched up

These have been hard times, especially because of the concern you have for those closest to you. We’re experiencing something that has never happened before and maybe that’s made us look at people who do more essential jobs. But that does not stop football from being a spectacle that we take a great deal of enjoyment from

It’s been a difficult year for him. He’s been straddling the first team and the bench. It’s been difficult for him. He made a brave decision and I think it’s for the best. He’s a player who’s improved with age and he’s always had good numbers everywhere he’s gone