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The new FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde opens up in his very first interview as the blaugrana coach and touches on various topics surrounding the figure of Barça’s new boss. The Spanish manager speaks to Barça TV about his initial impressions of the Club, the way he sees football and the identity his teams have. Furthermore, Valverde also looks back at his time as a player at Barça and the people who have most influenced him during his career. Below, we look at some of the highlights from the interview.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

“Since the day I arrived, everything has been really intense. Everything has gone really quickly in the last few hours. Even though I was aware of it, you only really realise the size of this club when you are caught up in the whirlwind of press conference and the presentation.”

“I just want to the first day to come and to get the tracksuit on and start coaching. I know it is an important step, I know the importance that it has because with every step I take, I realise more and I am thinking about it as yet another challenge that I am up for obviously.”

“I needed to end an era. Sometimes for a club like Barcelona to call you, it’s not only about being a coach that they like, but also being the right place at the right time. This time was the right moment.”

How he sees football

“When you are the coach you have no alternative but to live it intensely because you don’t have time for anything else.”

“Everyone has their way of managing and living their profession. Then, there are the demands of the job you have chosen, it’s a passion and we love it.”

His influences

“In this instance, José Maria Amorrortu has been vital because he was the one who quickly said to me, ‘You have to be a coach.’ He signed me for the youth team at Athletic and there I started to develop.

“I have been lucky to have had great coaches and then at the same time live in an age where there have been some great managers, to have learned from them and share time with them. From Cruyff, Clemente, Heynckes, all of them up until contemporaries such as Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola and Ancelotti.”

The identity of the team

“The team reflects a little the idea of the coach. You want to be the spirit of the team, that people identify with them and place their trust in them.”

“The system? I have adapted myself a little to what I have had in each team. It’s important because it can affect what can be your idea. You have to try to get it right so that the whole group feels comfortable.”

His time as a player at Barça

“As a player I was not a great signing for FC Barcelona, I have to admit that. I arrived with a knee injury and I did not recover properly and had to have another operation, then I had a groin operation the next year, then they sold me to Athletic.”

Demanding with himself

“Coaches always take on a lot of things. The most demanding with the coaches are the coaches themselves, of that I have no doubt.”

“It’s always a challenge to take on all this. You feel responsible because a lot of people will expect a lot of things from us and from me, and for the confidence that the club has shown in me.”


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