Published: Sun, May 26, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Barca's Valverde unfazed by Copa loss: 'I feel fine'

Barca's Valverde unfazed by Copa loss: 'I feel fine'

Barcelona won La Liga at a canter, 11 points ahead of Atletico Madrid and 19 clear of third-placed Real.

"No-one should beat us for attitude, we're going to try and compete like we have done in every game this season, apart from against Liverpool", Messi added. The game has a lot of importance. "But the year is tarnished by Liverpool".

To establish a comparison, Messi used the painful defeats he has suffered in recent years with Argentina.

Messi went on to offer a stout defence of Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, as he suggested criticism of his boss for his failure to halt Liverpool's march was misplaced. "We are all disappointed and very much, but it's not my turn to say [whether or not there will be changes]". We did not give Liverpool opposition and we cannot afford that.

Messi has often avoided reporters during his career and his previous news conference before a Barca match was in 2015, when the Catalan club faced Bayern Munich in the Champions League semis.

Kick-off is at 8pm United Kingdom time - but British fans will not get a chance to see the pitch clash on live TV.

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Eleven Sports had the rights for both of the semi-finals, but somewhat bizarrely, not the final itself.

Fans in Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland and Taiwan will be able to see all the action.

Valverde's suitability has been called into question by many supporters since the humbling Liverpool loss, but Bartomeu backed the head coach. "I think he was practically blameless for what happened with Liverpool".

"I would like [Ernesto] Valverde to continue".

It had been more than four years since Leo Messi was last in a press room with loads of journalists from various media companies in front of him. It was hard to get up and we still felt hurt in the following games.

The 31-year-old said: "I want to keep competing at Barca and I have never thought about leaving the club. We can not make the mistake of being less motivated than Valencia - we will go out and give our all".

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