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During Ernesto Valverde’s arrival in Barcelona last Tuesday he spoke about his first impressions as the new FC Barcelona coach. On his way to the Camp Nou, he spoke about the differences between when he was a player and being a footballer today: “When I was young, footballers weren’t as important as they are now, it was a different time. We could move around with more freedom and go unnoticed in the Born or Gràcia.” He went on to add: “I come to Barcelona frequently aside from matches. At least a couple of times a year to see friends and have a look around. I have lived here for six years, four as a player and two as a coach and I have close ties here.” 

First impressions are always special and Valverde describes his like this: “When I got on the plane I knew it was different than other times I have come to Barcelona, because of the importance of the step I was about to take. I could feel it at the airport and on the plane.”

On a personal level, the new blaugrana coach discussed his passion for photography: “Another photography book? Football takes up a lot of time, I have had four intense years in Bilbao with lots of games and barely any time to take photos.”

Valverde has plenty of fond memories of his time with Athletic: “It is the club of my life, where I have spent the most time, and where I have the closest connections. It is like a family and I will miss the people I had around me there. However, I won’t miss the city because I will be going back often.”

Finally, the coach confessed that “we don’t speak about football much at home but my family understands the importance of this step and what it means. Moreover, they know the city, have lived here before and are excited.”

Don’t miss out on the full video of Valverde’s chat in the car on his way to the Camp Nou!

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