Ernesto Valverde: 'We must strike first'

Ernesto Valverde: 'We must strike first'

Barça manager says top spot in the group may depend on Wednesday's results, and is confident that he has ample resources to cope without star man Messi. GET TICKETS!

Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press this Tuesday in the build-up to tomorrow’s Champions League meeting with Inter Milan at Camp Nou (9.00pm CETTICKETS HERE).

“They’ve hit on their best form of the season so far” said the Barça boss. “And they’re a team that creates a lot of deep pressure. They like to play attacking football in the opposition’s half.”

“It will be a nice game because we’re playing for top spot in the group. Whoever wins will make huge progress towards qualifying in first place.”

“We have to use the Camp Nou to our advantage” he concluded. “It has to be us that strikes first.”

Cover for Messi

On the matter of having deal without Leo Messi, he conceded that “it’s a challenge for us all as a team. But we have a number of other players that can cover for him.”

He singled out Rafinha, Malcom and Dembélé as prime candidates for filling their captain’s boots against the Italians.

But right at the end of the conference, a far less expected option popped up. Barça legend Hristo Stoichkov happened to be in the room and, with a cheeky grin, the Bulgarian offered his own services to the Barça manager!

Well, there’s no denying that that would be fun to see!

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