Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has called Liverpool “different” and admits he does not “think about if I was treated unfairly” during his first public appearance since his sacking.
Recently-sacked Valverde, 56, made the comments during a football forum in the city of Bilbao located in the autonomous community of Basque Country in north-eastern Spain.
Valverde’s comments were the first he has made in public since he was sacked from Barcelona in January.
Valverde spoke about his matches against Liverpool and Roma, which knocked him out of the Champions League during his tenure at Barcelona in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
Valverde called the clubs “different” and said: “In Roma, we were never able to get into the match and you always think you can win it with the group we had then.
“In Liverpool, they scored a goal we wanted to avoid once we started the match. One goal would have advanced us. They then scored two goals in a minute.
“These things happen. You always go on the side of the winner. In the away match against Liverpool, we suffered a lot but were able to win [at home] by three goals.
“Champions League is very complicated to win, Europa League, World Cup, Euro Cup… They are all tournaments that depend on one match or one situation.
“The league, however, is decided by what you do in the year. Liverpool is very important in the Premier League right now because they have not been beaten in a long time.”
Valverde briefly spoke about his time at Barcelona saying: “Managing Barcelona has been incredibly lucky for me.
“I know what it means to manage that club and I am delighted to have ever been there from every viewpoint.
“When you sign the contract you already know that everything depends on the results and the manager is always going to be responsible.
“I do not think about if I feel if I have been treated unfairly. I understand why people think that, but the point is to turn the page and not look back.
When speaking about his future, Valverde said: “What is in my interest is looking forward and not back. I decided to take some time off and then we will see. I have not decided anything yet…”
Valverde was sacked in January after Barcelona’s 3-2 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Supercup semi-final which reportedly prompted the club’s hierarchy to start searching for a new manager.
Current Barcelona boss Quique Setien was appointed after Valverde’s exit from the club.
Barcelona are second in La Liga with 49 points, three behind Real Madrid. They are set to play third-placed Getafe on Saturday 15th February.
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