Valverde talks Real Madrid, Valencia, Mascherano & Neymar ahead of Olympiacos clash


Ernesto Valverde and Barcelona are in Greece ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Olympiacos.

Ahead of the game the Barca coach faced the press and was asked about the match, Barca’s position in La Liga and if he would take Neymar back?!

Here are the best bits…

Valverde on Olympiacos

It’s really exciting to come back to Athens, to this stadium, because it meant so much to me. We had some great games here but I’m also really looking forward to this game where we could even qualify for the next round. But it’s also important for Olympiacos and to come to a club where I spent so long is obviously very emotional for me.

We know they played very defensively at Camp Nou. They have got three games left, so they really need to try and beat us. But they are playing at home, we know how much stronger they are with their fans behind them. They will try and do everything they can to beat us.

Valverde on Mascherano

Since the game against Murcia he’s had a foot infection. We need to have a look at that. We are looking at him in training today. We’ll find out how he is, Vermaelen has also had some issues but he’s fit. Hopefully they can both play tomorrow.

Valverde on being eight points ahead of Real Madrid

It’s a difficult league that we play in. We had to suffer to win at San Mames, Madrid lost in Girona, Atletico only drew with Villarreal, Valencia are second and struggled to beat Alaves. It’s a league where you have to work really hard to win every game. All of us will slip up at some stage. This is a weekend that has shown how hard it is to win games in this championship and what it takes to win games.

Valverde on Valencia

We’re worried about all of them and none of them. Of course they are the opponents who are directly behind us. But it’s not a question of being worried. We are only worried about ourselves, we need to win our games and not look over our shoulders. It’s still early days and these are not definitive games. Obviously Madrid are our natural rivals but Valencia are having a great season and let’s not forget Sevilla. We have to worry about all of our oponents but more importantly about ourselves.

Valverde on Neymar – would you allow him back?

I always like these questions, people like to try and push you into saying something. I think it’s best if I say nothing really!



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