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Ernesto Valverde admits Barcelona suffered against Borussia Dortmund

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has acknowledged that the Blaugrana suffered against Borussia Dortmund during the opening game of the Champions League group stage. The Spanish champions dominated the possession against Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park but they were second best when it came to creating chances on goal.

Moreover, they had to thank goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for the goalless stalemate after he made a vital save to deny Marco Reus from the penalty spot. Speaking after the game, Valverde admitted that his team were second best throughout the game as they did not possess an attacking threat to make the difference.
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Frenkie de Jong reveals where he can improve further with Barcelona

Netherlands international Frenkie de Jong has acknowledged that he has plenty of progress to make before he can be regarded as the ideal midfielder. The Dutchman made the move to the Blaugrana from Ajax during the summer transfer windowand he is now expected to play an integral role under manager Ernesto Valverde at the Camp Nou.

As such, the 22-year-old has been presented with numerous questions over the past few weeks and in a recent interview, the midfielder was asked about the facet of the game to improve upon to which he replied: “I think I can improve my long-range passing a lot. I can score more goals. I don’t think it’s the most important thing as a midfielder, especially with my style of playing, but I can score more goals. I can improve my long-range shooting, going behind the defence, runs behind the defence.” Continue reading…

Mbappe wants Neymar to stay with PSG amid Barcelona return talk

Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe has said that Neymar remains an important figure with the club’s ranks and he wants him to stay put beyond the summer. The Brazil international has been heavily touted to make a comeback with Barcelona and reports have emerged that the Spanish champions will lodge an approach to re-sign him during the closing stages of the transfer window.

Speaking to reporters, Mbappe said that he has a good relationship with Neymar on and off the playing field and he would prefer to work with the Brazilian for the forthcoming campaign rather than watching him part ways with the club, he told: “We all know the importance of this player after he leaves. He knows what I think of him and he knows what I think of his situation. Of course, I don’t want him to leave, I want him to stay. We have a relationship based on honesty and respect. I respect him and I admire him a lot, I told him what I thought of his situation and everything is fine.”
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Frenkie de Jong reveals where he can improve further with Barcelona

Netherlands international Frenkie de Jong has acknowledged that he has plenty of progress to make before he can be regarded as the ideal midfielder. The Dutchman made the move to the Blaugrana from Ajax during the summer transfer windowand he is now expected to play an integral role under manager Ernesto Valverde at the Camp Nou.

As such, the 22-year-old has been presented with numerous questions over the past few weeks and in a recent interview, the midfielder was asked about the facet of the game to improve upon to which he replied: “I think I can improve my long-range passing a lot. I can score more goals. I don’t think it’s the most important thing as a midfielder, especially with my style of playing, but I can score more goals. I can improve my long-range shooting, going behind the defence, runs behind the defence.” Continue reading…

Lautaro Martinez’s agent confirms transfer interest from Barcelona

The agent of Lautaro Martinez has acknowledged that Barcelona have made an enquiry regarding the Argentina international. The 21-year-old experienced his first taste of European football with Inter Milan last season where he contributed a decent tally of nine goals from 35 appearances across all competitions.

Speaking to Tuttosport, agent Beto Yaquesaid that the Blaugrana have not made contact with him regarding the player’s status but he is aware of an approach to Inter Milan for the forward, he told: “The rumours are true. Well, nobody has called us directly but we know Barcelona made an enquiry about Lautaro. He’s happy about that.”
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Van Gaal blames Messi for Barcelona’s recent Champions League failure

Dutch manager Louis van Gaal has said that Lionel Messi should take more of the blame for the club’s failure to win the Champions League crown in the past four seasons. The Blaugrana have generally been touted as one of the favourites to reach the final of the competition but they have not quite lived up to the expectations of late.

Speaking to El Pais, Van Gaal admitted that Messi is the best individual player in the world and he must take more responsibility for the average Champions League performance of the team, given he is the head coach, he said: “I like Messi as an individual player. He is the best individual player in the world because his statistics are amazing.
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Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has no idea on how to stop Lionel Messi

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has admitted that he has no idea on how to restrict the threat from Lionel Messi when his team face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. The Reds cruised to the last four of the competition after a comfortable 6-1 win over Porto and they are now scheduled to face the Blaugrana, who are deemed the front-runners to secure the trophy.

Speaking on BT Sport, Van Dijk said that he has yet to devise any strategy on limiting the threat from Messi. He added that there are 10 other players within the Blaugrana ranks and the Reds would require a collective effort in order to progress to their second Champions League final on the bounce.
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Sergio Busquets unsurprised with Lionel Messi’s consistent performances

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has said that there is no surprise element with regards to the performances of Lionel Messi in the club’s shirt. The Argentina international recently reached the 40-goal landmark for the 10th season on the bounce after he bagged a brace in the 2-0 triumph over Espanyol.

Speaking after the game, Busquets lauded the efforts of the club captain but stressed that the players are not surprised with what he does on the playing field, he said: “His (Messi’s) performances may be unusual from the outside, but they do not surprise us. “What he does in training is more difficult in matches, but we are used to it.”
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Carlos Alena says Lionel Messi has helped him settle with Barcelona’s first-team

Spanish midfielder Carlos Alena has credited Lionel Messi for helping him settle with the Barcelona first-team. The youngster has made his breakthrough with the Blaugrana during the ongoing campaign where he has already a total of 15 appearances while earning promotion from the club’s reserve side.

Speaking to reporters, Alena said that Messi has been influential in helping him settle after making him feel important despite being a newcomer in the setup, he said: “He acts like a captain and he helped me a lot when I came into the setup. He told me to play quietly because there’s always pressure in the first team, but in the end you play with stars. He made me feel bigger, he’s a really nice guy. I’ve been at the club for 14 years and I’ve seen my idols a thousand times on TV or on the pitch, I share experiences with them now on a daily basis in the dressing room and on the pitch. It’s a dream come true and I’m learning a lot.”
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Barcelona president confident of Lionel Messi signing another contract

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident that Lionel Messi will pen another long-term contract with the club which may see out the remainder of his playing career. The Argentine is currently on a deal, which is due to expire in the summer of 2021, but talks are already underway to extend his stay for three seasons.

Speaking to RKB, Bartomeu acknowledged that the Argentine is willing to commit the remainder of his career to the Catalan giants and the club have already offered him with the option to sign a new five-year deal, he said: “Leo Messi will continue with us. He is a club player and the relationship will continue forever. He has told us that he wants to continue. We have offered him a new contract over five years and I hope we will continue discussing the deal.”
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