Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Saturday ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga trip to Deportivo La Coruna.
Barcelona have all but won the league and look to be crowned champions at the Deportivo game, and Valverde answered questions about the title, his future at Barcelona, and the news of Andres Iniesta departing. Below are his answers to some of the main questions asked.
Valverde on finding a way to replace Iniesta
Let’s not kid ourselves, Iniesta is irreplaceable. He’s one of a kind. He gives you things you can’t get from any other player. So when you have a player of that level you have to try to find other balance in the team. We know that Barcelona have a very set style of football. It’s very clear how we play but what Iniesta gives you is what you can’t get from any other player. We need to find the right balance in the squad.
Valverde on the things that he has learned coaching Iniesta
Coaches learn from the players. We have a certain idea of things. We have ideas of tactics but it’s the players who contribute everything in every sense. Great players like Andres teach you that there are other things, which they seem to understand very naturally. It makes you think of other ways. You learn every day.
Valverde on the future of his career at Barcelona
I have no doubt that people will talk about this over the season, they always talk about the coach. You are quite right it’s just speculation I have nothing to say about this. I have a contract for next season and I am very happy here.
Valverde on Deportivo’s giving Barcelona the guard of honour
A lot of people are talking about these guard of honours, they spoke about it when we went to the Bernabeu. I think it’s something each team has to decide on but I think the guard of honour is a way of paying tribute to the opposing players. I think some of the virtue has gone from it, especially with Real Madrid and Barcelona, it’s seen as humiliation, it’s something I’d rather avoid.
Valverde on winning the La Liga title
We want to be the best. We’ve worked all season long and now there’s one step remaining. We’ll try to clinch the title tomorrow.