The football never stops and this Saturday La Liga returns with FC Barcelona visiting San Mamés for the week 10 clash with Athletic Club Bilbao. The fixture is a special one for coach Ernesto Valverde who returns to the club where he was both a player and a coach. “Athletic is a dangerous side and they always give it everything,” said the Barça boss in his pre-game press conference at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Valverde continued: “Athletic are very strong at San Mamés, not just now but for a long time now. They are intense in their play and the fans really get behind them, and we know they will not give up. They are a team who always go for goal, they have great team spirit with fans and the played united in their feeling for the club.”

On his return to his former club, Valverde was honest. “For me it’s a special game. A lot of things link me to Athletic, but tomorrow I am the opponent,” he said before touching on the Basque club’s current form. “Athletic always find it tough at the start of the season, get used to changes and furthermore, they had have important injuries. They are a team who get better as the competition goes on and they always end the season well. It’s obvious though that they have the quality to put in a great performance,” concluded the Barça coach. 

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