Ernesto Valverde insists there will not be a post-Andres Iniesta ‘revolution’ at Barcelona as ‘our future passes through La Masia’.
Iniesta will play his final match for Barca on Sunday when they host Real Sociedad, but Valverde made it clear he would not splash the cash on midfield reinforcements, reiterating his faith in Denis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and youth graduate Carles Alena.
“The match against Real will be one of celebration, but we’ll also have to compete against another team who have nothing to play for and are bidding farewell to their own [Xabi Prieto],” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“I hope we can end the season well. It’s Andres Iniesta’s farewell, and it’ll be an important match for Barcelona, for what he means to us and what he can be in the future.
“We want to end the season with a good performance and and pay tribute to him with a victory.
“We can’t sign a replica because we won’t find one. We’ll have to readjust to another reality because the profile [of his replacement in the XI] will naturally be different.
“We have Denis Suarez, Carles Alena and Philippe Coutinho, and together we have to find solutions so that our game keeps flowing.
“Busquets? He gives us balance in midfield, and I’m confident that he’ll stay with us because he has a contract here.
“Messi? There was an agreement in place for him to play in South Africa, and the idea is that he’ll be rested for this one.
“A mark for the season? A high one because it’s been long and hard, plus there’s been a bit of everything.
“There were times when we did well, but we lost a game in each competition. The one that did a lot of damage came in Rome, and that caused some instability.
“Still, we learned from it and got back up to win two trophies. It’s been an excellent season, especially because of how it started.
“All of us want to win everything here, but we must also learn from the mistakes we made.
“La Masia? Our future passes through it, even if it has to be propped up with players from the outside, although that’s always been the case.
“I don’t care which division the B team play in because the important thing is that there are good coaches.
“I want a squad of 21 players so that the youngsters get opportunities. We have a solid base from which to work and one that we have faith in. There won’t be a revolution this summer.
“The fans? When they support us and come to the stadium, we’re stronger. I want them to come and get involved in what happens on the pitch, rather than only watch the team.
“There are many ways to come to the stadium. For them to enjoy it is important. Their help is keenly felt.”