Ernesto Valverde Reacts to Barcelona’s 8th La Liga Title in 11 Years Following Levante Win

?Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has stated that he always planned to bring match-winner Lionel Messi on during the club’s 1-0 triumph over Levante on Saturday evening.

The Catalans claimed their eighth La Liga title in 11 years courtesy of the victory, nine points now separating them from second-placed Atletico Madrid. Messi was brought on for Philippe Coutinho at half-time with the scores level, breaking the deadlock shortly after the hour with an ice-cool side-footed finish into the far corner.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-LEVANTE

It appeared that the Argentine forward would be rested this weekend, with ?La Blaugrana welcoming ?Liverpool to the Nou Camp on Wednesday night for the first leg of their ?Champions League semi-final clash.

However, Valverde has insisted that Messi’s introduction was decided before the ?La Liga fixture with Levante had begun. Asked whether his hand was forced regarding the 31-year-old’s appearance off the bench, the coach declared (as quoted by the ?Evening Standard): “No. That was planned.

I was clear that he was going to play, but we have a game on Wednesday [against the Reds]. You have to be active, score goals from different areas and he gave us the title.”

Valverde could not hide his joy at the addition of yet more silverware to the Barcelona trophy cabinet, the Spaniard exulting in his team’s impressive achievement. He continued: “Winning the title by a distance and having games left, with the competitors we have, are difficult things to achieve.

We have done it two years in a row and to see the fans enjoying themselves like that is amazing. We want to celebrate,” he said, evidently relieved after a tense ending to the match. “It was nerves more than anything.

“They had a couple of chances, but the one that hit the post [in the last minute] was incredible. We couldn’t finish it off, they believed in themselves and we got a bit nervous in the end. But luckily, we were able to see it through.”

Let’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *