Valverde unveils Barca blueprint

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde says ‘the way to win the Champions League is by winning La Liga’ ahead of Saturday’s opener against Alaves.

Barca made a winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla in the Supercopa, and Valverde made it clear his side would not prioritise the Champions League over their title defence.

“We’re going to start the League with a few minutes in our legs, but we hope it goes well,” he said at a Press conference.

“We have enough players to compete on the fronts that lie ahead of us, but we won’t know how it’ll turn out until the transfer window ends.

“We have great players and a great team.  The way to win the Champions League is by winning La Liga, more than anything because when Barça win the Champions League, they also win the League.

“Alaves are the last team to win here and I guess they’ll come here with the same idea. They’ve remained true to a style with Abelardo, playing compactly, joining the lines well and countering quickly.”

Valverde was also asked about La Liga’s plans to host games in the US and the futures of Rafinha and starlet Riqui Puig.

“We played the Supercopa abroad…” added the Basque.

“In principle Rafinha will stay with us. Riqui Puig? If he keeps going like he has, he’ll play for Barcelona.”

Barca squad to play Alaves: Ter Stegen, Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Umtiti; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho, Arthur, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal; Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Malcom

Tags Ernesto Valverde