OSASUNA-BARCELONA | VALVERDE
'I'm a 9.5 on the Neymar tiredness scale' says Barça's Valverde
Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press ahead of the Osasuna game and gave updates on Messi, Rakitic and the Champions League draw.
Ernesto Valverde was out as usual before the media at the Osasuna-Barcelona press conference. Saturday's game in Pamplona gives the coach another chance to field the players that took Real Betis apart last week and is also the final game before the European transfer activity stops for the summer.
Valverde addresses the media
It was no surprise that the very respectful Barça manager began proceedings with a heartfelt message to Luis Enrique after last night's news about the tragic death of his daughter.
"Before I begin, I want a thought for Luis Enrique's family. It is difficult to find the right words to comfort people who are going through such a dificult time, but I want to convey from here all our love and support for him, his family, from all of us related to Barça, and send them a enormous hug."
After this gesture the questions began, some about the game, others not.
Regarding their opponent, Valverde was certainly clear about not taking the three points for granted stating that "regardless of numbers and statistics, Osasuna are scary in El Sadar," highlighting the importance of the home fans still "euphoric" following their promotion.
'Do you have any news about Neymar?' fired the first question.
"I am looking forward to the end of the transfer market," he responded, "and we can all rest a bit and know how things sit. Regarding Neymar I have nothing to say. He is another team's player, we respect our rivals and we'll see what happens."
How is Messi?
"He is continuing his normal recovery process. We hope that he is ready for Valencia.
Has Dembélé disappointed you?
"Right now he's injured, later we'll see. I'll not comment on Dembélé."
Will Rakitic continue at Barcelona?
"He is a great player who has played many games here. Nothing suggests that he will not be here. He did not play against Betis, nothing else. Sergio Busquets didn't play against Athletic. The season is very long and there is room for everyone."
Asked about his opinion about the Champions League draw which pits them against Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague?
"We have a hard draw, just like in previous years. It will be complicated. The intention is to finish top of the group. We have a tough job."
To conclude the session, the subject of the Neymar transfer returned. And when asked for a score between zero to ten of how tired he was of the Neymar subject he was pretty clear.
"9.5 or so"