‘Messi never ceases to amaze, but…’

Ernesto Valverde admits Lionel Messi ‘never ceases to amaze me’ but believes Barcelona ‘needed more urgency’ against Alaves.

“You can’t be calm, you always feel nerves because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said the Coach after his side’s 3-0 win, replying to a question about his calm demeanour on the touchline.

“The game took a lot out of us, so I wanted to avoid using too many players who joined up with the squad later.

“I thought half-time was the best time for Coutinho to come on. He can dribble, shoot… There was a lack of rhythm, but they sat so far back that it slowed down the first part of our combinations. We needed more urgency.

“Nothing is final with regards to my XI. It’s true that there are players who must be bedded in, but we have lots of important matches coming up and they’re all going to be important

“Messi always surprises you. He never ceases to amaze me, honestly.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde Lionel Messi