Valverde ‘shocked’ by empty Camp Nou

Ernesto Valverde admits “it was a shock to see Camp Nou empty” after Barcelona-Las Palmas and that “we’re all aware of what happened.”

The match had to be played behind closed doors after Barca’s pleas for it to be postponed in light of the Catalan independence referendum were rejected, although the Blaugrana nonetheless moved five points clear at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 victory.

“It was very difficult playing the match today,” the Coach said after the game.

“It’s a strange and complicated situation for everyone. The club tried to postpone the game. We didn’t know if we were going to play.

“It wasn’t possible and the club wanted to do a gesture with the circumstances surrounding Catalonia.

“We weren’t very focused. We started with little rhythm. Las Palmas have great players and made it difficult for us.

“In the second half, we released ourselves and pressed better. We won the ball back further afield and created more.

“Iniesta? He has a knock. He noticed something on the back of his thigh, so we have to wait for the tests.

“Decision to play behind closed doors instead of not playing? It was a consensual decision by the club.

“It was a shock to see an empty Camp Nou, but you should ask the executives.

“Riot police? The club try to respect the opinions of everyone. We all wanted everything to go smoothly, but it didn’t seem to be the case.

“We hope that everything will go back to how it was before, but I’m not a politician and I don’t understand [politics], only football and sometimes not even that!

“We’re all aware of what happened here today. None of us live in an igloo.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde