Valverde explains reason for Messi’s second half appearance against Alaves

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has said that he wanted to keep Lionel Messi to remain active on the field of play during the midweek triumph over Alaves. The manager opted to start Messi on the bench for the game and some supporters were surprised when he was brought on to the pitch in the second half, where the club were cruising at 2-0.

Speaking after the game, Valverde indicated that the move has nothing to go with the Golden Shoe accolade and the focus was more on keeping the Argentine active ahead of the Champions League semi-final tie against Liverpool next month, he said: “The idea was that he’d play because the result wasn’t clear when it was goalless at half time. The suggestion that it was about the Golden Shoe… well, we focus on winning. It was time for him to get some rest today and to come out in the second half. It’s good for players to stay involved and active. You can’t put them away in a case and then just bring them out for one match.”

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has said that he wanted to keep Lionel Messi to remain active on the field of play during the midweek triumph over Alaves. The manager opted to start Messi on the bench for the game and some supporters were surprised when he was brought on to the pitch in the second half, where the club were cruising at 2-0.

Speaking after the game, Valverde indicated that the move has nothing to go with the Golden Shoe accolade and the focus was more on keeping the Argentine active ahead of the Champions League semi-final tie against Liverpool next month, he said: “The idea was that he’d play because the result wasn’t clear when it was goalless at half time. The suggestion that it was about the Golden Shoe… well, we focus on winning. It was time for him to get some rest today and to come out in the second half. It’s good for players to stay involved and active. You can’t put them away in a case and then just bring them out for one match.”

The Blaugrana are currently three points away from the league title and they are assured of lifting the crown , provided they beat Leganes over the weekend. As such, they have the courtesy to rest players in between the double-legged Champions League semi-final tie against Liverpool and that could prove a key difference in terms of the fitness levels of both teams.

Messi has notched 45 goals through the ongoing campaign and there are no doubts that his performances would put him up there for the Ballon d’Or award. Nonetheless, the main focus would be on the Blaugrana, who are aiming to secure the Champions League crown after missing out for the past three seasons. Barcelona are scheduled to host Levante this weekend before tackling Jurgen Klopp’s men.

VALDES REVEALS ORIGIN OF TIKI TAKA

The football ideology based on short quick passes known as Tiki Taka has wowed the football world for the best part of a decade with Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola famous for this style. Guardiola has gone on to replicate this style with great success at German side Bayern Munich and Manchester City in the Premier League.

One major proponent of this system was the way he changed the perspective of the goalkeeping position with his tiki taka brand of football. Barcelona legend Victor Valdes was the first goalkeeper to experience this new style during his time in Spain and was one of the best passers of the ball for his position.

The football ideology based on short quick passes known as Tiki Taka has wowed the football world for the best part of a decade with Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola famous for this style. Guardiola has gone on to replicate this style with great success at German side Bayern Munich and Manchester City in the Premier League.

One major proponent of this system was the way he changed the perspective of the goalkeeping position with his tiki taka brand of football. Barcelona legend Victor Valdes was the first goalkeeper to experience this new style during his time in Spain and was one of the best passers of the ball for his position.

Valdes revealed in a video that just recently resurfaced about Guardiola’s approach to training. According to him Guardiola spoke to him about his plans in his office after taking over as the manager of Barcelona.

Valdes insisted in the footage that he was not initially convinced about the idea of playing out from the back but followed his orders nevertheless. This looked strange back then but currently the ability to pass from the back is a key attribute that clubs look for before signing goalkeepers.

This period ushered unprecedented success for the Catalan outfit as they were able to dominate the European scene winning a Treble in his first season in charge.

“This pattern allowed the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquet to thrive as they emerged as world class performers under the Spaniard“. Lionel Messi was able to elevate his game “which has seen him“ dominate opponents for the past decade.

Valdes won his share of trophies at the club before departing to Manchester United and Middlesbrough before retirement. The Spanish legend would be grateful that he was able to be part of a great ideology that brought success for both club and country.

Iker Casillas set to retire at Porto after signing new contract

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas has confirmed that he would like to retire with Porto after signing a new two-year deal with Porto. The goalkeeping legend has spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Primeira Liga giants and he is now prepared to see out the remainder of his career with the club.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Casillas said that he is pleased to have signed a new two-year contract at Porto and the present deal could potentially be the final one before stepping down from the game, he quipped: “Today is a very special day. I feel at home at this club. I want to stay here until I finish my career as a footballer. When I got here, many would think it would be to play a year or two and finish. I only have words of appreciation to this club. Not only to the club but to the city itself.”

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas has confirmed that he would like to retire with Porto after signing a new two-year deal with Porto. The goalkeeping legend has spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with the Primeira Liga giants and he is now prepared to see out the remainder of his career with the club.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Casillas said that he is pleased to have signed a new two-year contract at Porto and the present deal could potentially be the final one before stepping down from the game, he quipped: “Today is a very special day. I feel at home at this club. I want to stay here until I finish my career as a footballer. When I got here, many would think it would be to play a year or two and finish. I only have words of appreciation to this club. Not only to the club but to the city itself.”

Casillas has achieved every trophy within reach from his career at Real Madrid and he has reached a stage where he could easily hang up his boots. However, the World Cup winner seems determined to make a mark with Porto and that could happen through the league where they are tied on points with Benfica with eight games remaining for the season.

Elsewhere, “they have progressed to the Champions League quarter-final where they are scheduled to face Liverpool and the match should test the team’s credentials. Porto were comfortably beaten by a 5-0 aggregate score by Liverpool “during the previous campaign but they would be determined to put up a better fight against the Merseyside giants this time around.

Porto return from the international break with an away game at Braga. Three days later, they are scheduled to face the same opposition in the second leg of the Taca de Portugal semi-final. Porto hold a 3-0 advantage from the home leg.

Barcelona needs to improve

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes said that Barcelona needs to raise the level of their game if they want to beat Olympique Lyonnais. He said that the French team is a good team with some quality players and that they will cause the Spanish side problem, especially on counter-attacks.
Victor Valdes said that Barcelona has not been at their best in recent games and that they will have to improve massively if they want to make it to the next round.

He said that the Olympique Lyonnais players will be motivated for this game and they will want to put in a fight in order to get a result against Barcelona. He said that if the players are not careful they could end up with a defeat thus damaging their hopes of making it to the next round.
He said that the players should be wary of the threat posed by the French club and make sure that they give their best on the pitch.

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes said that Barcelona needs to raise the level of their game if they want to beat Olympique Lyonnais. He said that the French team is a good team with some quality players and that they will cause the Spanish side problem, especially on counter-attacks.
Victor Valdes said that Barcelona has not been at their best in recent games and that they will have to improve massively if they want to make it to the next round.

He said that the Olympique Lyonnais players will be motivated for this game and they will want to put in a fight in order to get a result against Barcelona. He said that if the players are not careful they could end up with a defeat thus damaging their hopes of making it to the next round.
He said that the players should be wary of the threat posed by the French club and make sure that they give their best on the pitch.

“Victor Valdes said that Barcelona has not reached their top form this season and that they have been vulnerable in several games“. He believes that the team needs to improve if they want to win the Champions League. He said that you cannot rely only on Lionel Messi to drive the club forward and that the other players should also take the “responsibility to win games.“

He said that there are plenty of good players at Barcelona and that they are not playing as a team. He said that the players should learn how to play together and collectively and make sure that they learn to keep possession better. Valdes said that the strength of Barcelona has been built on possession football and it is important that the team return to the basics if they want to be successful.

Ernesto Valverde provides his backing for Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has given his backing to midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who endured a difficult game against Girona in the Spanish La Liga. The Brazil international has struggled to secure a regular starting role under Valverde this term and he has done himself no favours after squandering a couple of golden chances to find the scoresheet.

The Blaugrana returned to winning ways with Nelson Semedo and Lionel Messi finding the net but the match could have been much more comfortable, had Coutinho converted his chances which included a one-on-one with the opposition keeper. Speaking after the game, Valverde was supportive of the former Liverpool man despite the average performance and suggested that he has been pleased by the Brazilian’s workrate throughout the game, he said: “What I like about him is that he always tries things and takes on his man. It might work or it might not. He had chances but didn’t score because their goalkeeper is excellent. He’ll convert other chances soon.”

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has given his backing to midfielder Philippe Coutinho, who endured a difficult game against Girona in the Spanish La Liga. The Brazil international has struggled to secure a regular starting role under Valverde this term and he has done himself no favours after squandering a couple of golden chances to find the scoresheet.

The Blaugrana returned to winning ways with Nelson Semedo and Lionel Messi finding the net but the match could have been much more comfortable, had Coutinho converted his chances which included a one-on-one with the opposition keeper. Speaking after the game, Valverde was supportive of the former Liverpool man despite the average performance and suggested that he has been pleased by the Brazilian’s workrate throughout the game, he said: “What I like about him is that he always tries things and takes on his man. It might work or it might not. He had chances but didn’t score because their goalkeeper is excellent. He’ll convert other chances soon.”

Meanwhile, “Valverde went further to praise the impact of Coutinho’s compatriot Arthur, who provided a sense of calm in the centre of the park“, he added: “We were having some difficulty because they were pressing high and we couldn’t pass through it on occasions. When Arthur went on, he had the ability to keep the ball. Plus, they were down to 10 and it was a matter of controlling the game and of “finding the open man“. In the end, we had more chances and sealed the result.”

With the victory, the Blaugrana have continued their dominance at the top of the league table and they are still holding a five-point gap over second-placed Atletico Madrid. The Catalan giants are now scheduled to switch their attention to the Copa del Rey quarter-final where they need to recover a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. Lionel Messi was among the high-profile players left out during the reverse fixture but he could return to salvage the club’s Cup hopes.

Luis Enrique hails the attitude of his players

The Spanish supporters were left gutted once again as the team suffered an early exit in another multi-team tournament. Spain failed to make it to the knockout stages of the on-going Nations League despite making a very good beginning to the group stage.

Spain lost the plot after earning 6 points out of the 2 matches. Two back to back losses after that sent them packing and it was a bitter pill to swallow for the supporters, but the coach Luis Enrique is not unhappy with the team’s performance and he thinks the team has actually got better since he has taken charge.

The Spanish supporters were left gutted once again as the team suffered an early exit in another multi-team tournament. Spain failed to make it to the knockout stages of the on-going Nations League despite making a very good beginning to the group stage.

Spain lost the plot after earning 6 points out of the 2 matches. Two back to back losses after that sent them packing and it was a bitter pill to swallow for the supporters, but the coach Luis Enrique is not unhappy with the team’s performance and he thinks the team has actually got better since he has taken charge.

Enrique said he obviously wanted to advance to the Round of 4 and the whole team wanted that as well and the way it unfolded in the initial matches, they were well on their way, but obviously the level of performance after that came down a little bit and the team wasn’t able to grab the opportunities that came their way in the last two matches, but it’s also important to keep in mind that it was not the easiest group in the league. The other two teams there were fairly strong as well.

Spain had England and Croatia as the other two teams in their group and La Roja were beaten by both of them by the same margin of 2-3 in their last two games.

According to Enrique, “he already had the idea that the team would not be able to meet all his demands straightaway“, but the approach that the team has carried “since he has joined“ in, it’s a big tick.

“I make a positive assessment of the six matches that we have had.” Enrique was quoted saying by FOX SPORTS.

“I already knew that the players could not give me everything I have asked for but I am delighted with the attitude of them all.” Enrique added.

Thiago Alcantara hopes to stay with Bayern Munich for the long-term

Spain international Thiago Alcantara has iterated his ambition to stay put with Bayern Munich for the long-term. The midfielder has been marred by several injury concerns during his time with the Bavarian giants but he has nonetheless been an influential player for the club over the past five-and-a-half seasons.

Speaking to Goal.com, Alcantara said that he has gained experience during his five-year stay with the Bundesliga holders and he hopes to continue his association with the club for many years to come, he quipped: “I’ve matured here, gained important experience and the opportunity to enjoy football more. Life is made up of stages and, of course, some more years can be added to this stage.”

Spain international Thiago Alcantara has iterated his ambition to stay put with Bayern Munich for the long-term. The midfielder has been marred by several injury concerns during his time with the Bavarian giants but he has nonetheless been an influential player for the club over the past five-and-a-half seasons.

Speaking to Goal.com, Alcantara said that he has gained experience during his five-year stay with the Bundesliga holders and he hopes to continue his association with the club for many years to come, he quipped: “I’ve matured here, gained important experience and the opportunity to enjoy football more. Life is made up of stages and, of course, some more years can be added to this stage.”

Meanwhile, the former Barcelona man cited his ambition to win the Champions League which remains the most prestigious trophy for any European club, he further told: “We did not have luck on our side against Real and Atletico in recent years. But we keep going, we really want that title, even though we know how difficult it will be.”

“Bayern have generally eased through to the quarter-final phase over the past five years but on each occasion“, they have come against elite Spanish opposition, who have restricted them from making the final. Last season, “the German champions were“ widely fancied to make the final but a major blunder from goalkeeper Sven Ulreich ultimately cost them at the last four stage.

A repeat of the same performance appears much trickier this term, given Bayern have struggled in the Bundesliga and it remains to be seen whether they can step up when the knockout phase begins in February. Bayern are currently only fourth in the Bundesliga after the opening 13 matches. They are nine points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who are unbeaten since the campaign started.

La Liga more competitive than ever

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes believes that La Liga has become more competitive in recent years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to win it.

He said that there was a time where only Barcelona and Real Madrid was competing for the title but things have changed in recent years. He said that teams such as Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia have all become stronger and making it difficult to win games against.

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes believes that La Liga has become more competitive in recent years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to win it.

He said that there was a time where only Barcelona and Real Madrid was competing for the title but things have changed in recent years. He said that teams such as Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia have all become stronger and making it difficult to win games against.

Victor Valdes believes that this is a good thing as this will boost the popularity of La Liga. He said that there were some complaints in the past that there were only two teams that can win the title and this was destroying the competitive nature of the Spanish League. He said that now things are different and it provides more entertainment for the neutral.

His comments are backed up by the statistics held on demand for tickets on this site – livefootballtickets.com have seen a 7 fold increase in searches for Spanish matches that don’t involve the big two sides.

Valdes said that this will force teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid to improve if they do not want to be caught by their rivals. He said that this will help these two teams raise their level and become even stronger in the Champions League.

Speaking of Barcelona, Victor Valdes said that they have a strong team and that they are the favorite to win the title. However, he admitted that they need to be more consistent as they have dropped some easy points in the championship so far. He said that players such as Suarez and Messi should help lead the team and make sure that they win the games where they are the favorites.

Valdes said that it is normal that smaller teams will want to play defensively against them and it is up to the Barcelona players to make sure that they step up their game in order to score goals so as to win the games.

Barcelona manager heaps praise on Arthur after Tottenham Hotspur win

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has heaped praise on summer signing Arthur following his side’s 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Blaugrana were the dominant side for the most of the European encounter but they were stages where the hosts tried to come back into the game.

Despite this, Lionel Messi once more made the difference by scoring a match-winning brace but Valverde took time to praise the qualities of Arthur, who was hugely impressive with his distribution throughout the match, he said: “Man, that’s what it’s about. Looking for a gap, he has some qualities that come in handy. He completes many passes, it’s hard to take the ball off him. He has been a starter in an important game. We played a good game and we had opportunities to extend the lead before and not have to suffer so much, but this is the Champions League.”

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has heaped praise on summer signing Arthur following his side’s 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Blaugrana were the dominant side for the most of the European encounter but they were stages where the hosts tried to come back into the game.

Despite this, Lionel Messi once more made the difference by scoring a match-winning brace but Valverde took time to praise the qualities of Arthur, who was hugely impressive with his distribution throughout the match, he said: “Man, that’s what it’s about. Looking for a gap, he has some qualities that come in handy. He completes many passes, it’s hard to take the ball off him. He has been a starter in an important game. We played a good game and we had opportunities to extend the lead before and not have to suffer so much, but this is the Champions League.”

“Barcelona had come into this game on the back of three matches without a victory and during this period,“ their defensive organisation was questioned amid the patchy form of Gerard Pique. However, the Catalan giants did not show any major symptoms of that struggle during their visit to the Wembley “Stadium and Spurs had“ to work hard to find the scoresheet with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela.

The victory over Spurs sees Barcelona placed firmly at the top of Group B with six points and right behind them are Inter Milan, who are only trailing on goal difference. As such, Spurs are already facing an uphill task of making progress beyond the group stage of the Champions League and the double-header against PSV Eindhoven following the international break may make or break their prospects of reaching the knockout stage of the elite competition. Should this not be the case, Spurs could end up third and qualify for the Europa League knockouts for the second time in three seasons.

Victor Valdes Starts His Training Sessions

The former goalkeeper of Spanish Victor Valdes was known as the 2010 World Cup’s champion in South Africa as well as the Polish-Ukrainian European Championship 2012. He has now entered the field of coaching which is his first experience. Victor coaches at the Moratalaz sports school which is a club situated in the southern part of Madrid. His work here primarily aims at training adolescents and children. As per him, it is an interesting stage as it’s always good to start with kids. The goalkeeper is currently taking care of the Youth A team.

The initial days of work began with sport success as the team was with Madrid Youth Cup. It is a pre-season match where in teams from different regions took part such as Alcorcon, Leganes, and Atletico de Madrid. In addition, there were guests, which included the national team in Yokohama. The 36 year old received his UEFA A and B license and it gives a green signal to train youth category teams post completion of a 6 week course for participants who belonged to the Spanish team and played a minimum of 8 seasons in the Premier League.

The former goalkeeper of Spanish Victor Valdes was known as the 2010 World Cup’s champion in South Africa as well as the Polish-Ukrainian European Championship 2012. He has now entered the field of coaching which is his first experience. Victor coaches at the Moratalaz sports school which is a club situated in the southern part of Madrid. His work here primarily aims at training adolescents and children. As per him, it is an interesting stage as it’s always good to start with kids. The goalkeeper is currently taking care of the Youth A team.

The initial days of work began with sport success as the team was with Madrid Youth Cup. It is a pre-season match where in teams from different regions took part such as Alcorcon, Leganes, and Atletico de Madrid. In addition, there were guests, which included the national team in Yokohama. The 36 year old received his UEFA A and B license and it gives a green signal to train youth category teams post completion of a 6 week course for participants who belonged to the Spanish team and played a minimum of 8 seasons in the Premier League.

“Valdes always had a fascination to begin his coaching career soon as he took retirement from football. “And now that he has started, it seems that it would certainly make him climb the ladder of success which would help him to consider his dreams. The 36 year old was made to enroll the coaching course same as Xabi Alonso and Xavi Hernandez. He has been qualified after which the license was awarded to him. During his period of studying, there was first hand coach training given to him as he closely monitored and participated in training sessions of Asier Garitano with Leganes towards the end of the season. Valdes retired in 2017 but keeps up his spirits high with his coaching sessions.