Valverde ‘excited’ for Greece return

Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde admits returning to former club Olympiakos will be an ‘exciting’ and ‘emotional’ occasion for him.

The 53-year-old enjoyed two stints in charge of the Piraeus-based club, winning the league title in each of his three seasons alongside two Greek Cup successes.

“To return to Athens is very exciting for me,” Valverde told his pre-match press conference.

“This club and this stadium means a lot to me, just as Athletic do, and to return is a special moment.

“This is an important match for us as we can qualify for the next round but it is also important for Olympiakos’s position within the tournament too.

“I spent three very happy years here and this will be an emotional game for me.”

The Greek club’s Ultra group Gate 7 is also said to be planning their own pre-game tribute to Valverde, who is held in high regard by the club.

Olympiakos have had a wretched start to their campaign, losing all three of their Champions League group games alongside sitting fifth in their domestic league with three losses from their nine outings.

Tags Ernesto Valverde Olympiakos