Valverde: “I’m in the mood to win, but not any kind of revenge”


The coach of Athletic Club, Ernesto Valverde, pointed out that he does not have any kind of “revenge” on FC Barcelona, ​​although his objective is to “win”, against a culé team from which he was dismissed in January 2020 and which he will face for the first time since his dismissal this Sunday at the Spotify Camp Nou.

“The truth is that what I do have the courage to do is win, not because I have any type of revenge, but because we want three points. I already know that it is difficult, it is a complicated field and because it is a team that in the league is making a great campaign. Other than that, it’s like any other game, complicated. It’s true that you go to a place where you’ve been and you meet people who helped me when I was there. I’ll greet them and then try to beat them, as always”, he explained the technician at a press conference.

Valverde directed the culé team for more than two seasons and, therefore, returns to a place he knows well even though “many things” have changed. “Deep down we all know each other, but then the difficulty is there. Of course knowing some keys can always help you, but at the same time you know the strengths and it is also true that quite a few things have changed from the team I had to the one there is now and quite a few players,” he said.

“We must bear in mind that Barcelona is the team with the highest possession index in LaLiga and that they also play to maintain that possession. Then, they press very high and manage to push you against your area trying to prevent your exit. We must have the capacity to be able to overcome that situation or at least try,” he added.

In addition, the Athletic coach gave his impressions prior to the match and, despite the difficulty involved in playing at the Camp Nou, he was ambitious when it came to achieving victory. “It’s the rival we have in front of us and we want the three points. I already know it’s difficult, it’s a complicated field and they’re fine. It’s a team that is having a great campaign in LaLiga”, he said.

“The other day they lost the first game and until then they had only given up a draw. We have to suffer, but what is clear is that we are going to try. The team always fights to win and has been close to doing so in all the games that played,” he added.

Asked if he has a different game plan this time, after three games without a win in the league, and subject to the characteristics of the opponent, the coach insisted on the need to try to play his own game. “We have a way of acting and of trying to lead the games. Obviously we have to take into account the rival we are facing. They have very fast people up front, with wingers who go very well into space. For the rest, we will try to play our game” , he claimed.

“It is clear that each team has to show more or less what it does on the field, even if it adapts to a certain extent to what the opponent is. That is what you are working for every day,” he said.