Barcelona’s Ernesto Valverde says players not distracted by crisis

By | October 31, 2017

By: AP | Piraeus |
Printed:October 31, 2017 9:02 am

Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona vs Olympiakos, Champions League, Catalonia Ernesto Valverde’s crew may qualify for the spherical of 16 with a win in Piraeus. (Supply: AP)

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde insists his gamers haven’t been distracted by the occasions going down in Catalonia. “We will see what’s taking place however we’re focused on our personal activity. That’s to win matches and make the followers completely happy,” he mentioned on Monday, a day earlier than the crew’s Champions League match in opposition to Olympiakos.

Lawmakers in Catalonia’s parliament declared independence from Spain final week following a disputed referendum that triggered a constitutional disaster within the European Union member.

“We’re not naive and might see what’s taking place round us,” Catalonia-born striker Gerard Deulofeu mentioned. “However I’m not right here to speak about politics.”

Barcelona is enjoying the Greek champion at Karaiskakis Stadium. Valverde obtained an emotional welcome from followers of his former crew. He mentioned it will be a ‘particular recreation’ for him on Tuesday.

“It’s a really emotional second for me to return right here the place so many nice issues occurred for me. I’ve been wanting ahead to it,” he mentioned.

Valverde’s crew may qualify for the spherical of 16 with a win in Piraeus, and relying on the results of the opposite Group D match between Sporting Lisbon and Juventus.

He mentioned he hoped defender Javier Mascherano recovers from a minor harm to be accessible. Olympiakos has misplaced all three of its group matches, and has suffered from an unusually shaky efficiency within the Greek league, shedding for a 3rd time this season to historic rival Panathinaikos 1-Zero on Saturday.

Barcelona leads the Spanish league, and Deulofeu described Actual Madrid’s shock 2-1 loss in his dwelling city of Girona on Sunday as a bonus for Barca.

“I received’t lie, it was end result,” he mentioned. “Any recreation that takes factors away from one in all our greatest opponents is optimistic for us.”

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