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Don´t go crazy! – Valverde counsels Alba after Spain snub

SoccerNews in La Liga 1 Sep 2018

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Ernesto Valverde has advised Jordi Alba to focus on Barcelona’s next match and not go “crazy” after being dropped from the Spain squad.

The left-back was omitted from Luis Enrique’s first call-up since he took over as permanent head coach from Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked on the eve of the World Cup.

The decision to leave out Alba has prompted concerns about his long-term place with the national team, given he fell out of favour under Luis Enrique in his last season as Barca boss.

Valverde is not willing to discuss another coach’s decisions in public but wants Alba to concentrate on his duties at club level, starting with Sunday’s clash with Huesca at Camp Nou.

Asked how he would counsel the defender, Valverde told a news conference: “Well, the same as anyone: focus on the game without going crazy.

“It’s not a question for me. It’s the national team coach who calls up those who he thinks are the best.

“Just as I don’t like it when other coaches question my squads and my line-ups, I won’t talk about others.”

Valverde also refused to comment on Gerard Pique after the defender was reportedly charged with a driving offence.

Cadena SER claimed on Friday that the centre-back has been accused of driving without a valid licence, an offence which risks punishment by a fine, community service or a short prison sentence.

“I haven’t spoken to him and I prefer to do that before making any comments myself,” Valverde said.

“Those of us who represent a club have a private life and a public image, but I prefer to speak with him.”

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