VALVERDE HAPPY TO HAVE MESSI

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says he is happy to have his star player Lionel Messi in the team.


He says having the Argentine superstar is way better than having to make plans on how to stop him if he were to feature against a rival side.

Valverde lost his three battles against Barcelona when he was with Athletic Bilbao last term. The Catalan side defeated Bilbao in two legs before seeing them off in the Copa Del Rey in January courtesy of a Messi free kick winner. The same Copa America finalist scored goals against Valverde’s Basque side in the 2015 Copa Del Rey.

“Of course Messi is a unique player and he will have a role whereby he can play in any position and play well. Regardless of how we start the game, he will end up in defined positions. It’s a feeling of relief. When you’re sitting on the opposition bench you see that you’re lacking the players it takes to stop him,” the coach said

Since coming from the La Masia football academy, Messi has spent all of his life at the Nou Camp. The 33-year old is expected to end his illustrious career at Barcelona.

Like Messi, Andres Iniesta has spent his entire football career at Barcelona. Valverde says he is worried that Iniesta is set to retire. Valverde says the Spaniard is difficult to find elsewhere but adds that the important thing is that he is happy in his final year at the club.

Barcelona are hoping to land their summer interests like Marco Veratti from Paris St Germain. There are others like Dembele but it has not been easy for Valverde who has enormous tasks on his shoulders.