Ernesto Valverde confirmed he rested Lionel Messi, who “has played a lot lately”, and felt Barcelona ‘dominated’ Juventus in their 0-0 draw.
Messi was surprisingly benched for the trip to Turin, prompting several theories about his omission on social media, from a possible injury to even a dispute between him and Valverde, but the Coach assured there were no problems with the No 10.
“We came here with the intention of winning and picking up three points,” he said after the game.
“We played with character because they’re a team that press you a lot. When they have space, they can hurt you because they have quality, but there were many times when we dominated them, except towards the end.
“We controlled the game, we’re happy and we’re top of our group. It’s what we wanted.
“Messi? He’s fine. He’s played a lot lately and it’s true that there have been times when we’ve thought about resting him or bringing him on for the second half.
“We also expected the game to start tightly and open up as it went on. After that, we came to the decision. These are things that the Coach decides internally.
“Ter Stegen? He’s in a great run of form. Our intention is for him not to make many saves, and tonight he didn’t have to do much because we were dominant in several parts of the match.
“Still, he was there to make decisive stops like the one at the end, which was a key moment. He was there for us like he’s always been.
“We gave the impression of a solid team. Sometimes we try to win for 90 minutes and carry the weight of a game, but when there are three minutes left, we also know how to protect that one point, which keeps us top.
“Berizzo? He’s a Coach that I have a lot of affinity for and talk to often. I send him all mine and Barca’s strength.”