Leo Messi eager to start training with 'great coach' Ernesto Valverde

Leo Messi eager to start training with 'great coach' Ernesto Valverde

Neymar Jr, Gerard Piqué and Arda Turan also speak to the press as the new deal sponsorship with Rakuten is presented in Tokyo

It’s not long before we see Leo Messi, Gerard Piqué, Arda Turan and Neymar Jr back at the training ground in Barcelona, but before that they’re in Japan to represent FC Barcelona at the presentation of the new sponsorship deal with Rakuten.

Here is a selection of top quotes from the foursome, who were speaking from the Rakuten Crimson House offices in Tokyo at an event attended by around 260 members of the local and international press.

Leo Messi

“I’m really looking forward to getting back and meeting the new coach and staff, enjoying a new season at the club and playing my hardest.”

Valverde has already proved what a good manager he is. We always start the season with very clear targets. That’s because we’re Barça and hopefully we can win every trophy this year.”

Neymar Jr

“More than team-mates, Messi and I are friends. What matters is for us all to be happy. If we feel good, the team feels good and Barça can achieve great things.”

Arda Turan

“Playing alongside Messi, but also Neymar, Suárez and all the others, is a great chance for me. I’m experiencing great things.”

Gerard Piqué

“This is more than a sponsorship deal, because Rakuten is like a member of the family. I think both parties share the same values and philosophy. It’s not just about working but also having fun as you do it.”

“I’m happy to be here in Barça’s name. I thank Rakuten and Hiroshi Mikitani for theior hospitality while we are in Japan.”

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