Pep backs ‘exceptional’ Valverde

Pep Guardiola has given his backing to new Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde calling him ‘exceptional’ and ‘a good friend’.

The current Manchester City boss, who was at the helm at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012, believes the hiring of Valverde following his departure from Athletic Bilbao was a ‘strong choice’.

"Ernesto is an exceptional Coach and a good friend," Guardiola is quoted as saying by Marca.

"Barcelona have made a strong choice."

Guardiola also took time to give credit to Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane, but warned Los Blancos that his former club would bounce back.

"He is a great coach and, as a player, he was on another level," he continued.

"I am happy for him because he has done an excellent job.

"I congratulate Real Madrid because they were the worthy winner of the Champions League, but I would also tell them not to become overconfident because Barcelona always bounce back.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde Pep Guardiola