Friday, March 22, 2019

Valverde delighted by extra responsibility of new Barcelona contract

SoccerNews in La Liga 15 Feb 2019

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Ernesto Valverde feels his contract extension with Barcelona is proof the club are willing to give him additional responsibility.

Valverde won a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double in his first season in charge at Camp Nou after joining from Athletic Bilbao.

But, with his initial two-year deal due to expire at the end of the season, it had been unclear whether or not Valverde would be staying for the 2019-2020 campaign.

There have also been reports Valverde and the Barca board do not see eye to eye on transfers, with claims Malcom was bought from Bordeaux despite the coach’s lack of interest in the winger.

News on Friday that Valverde has put pen to paper on a one-year extension has ended the speculation he may walk away from the club, however.

And the 55-year-old is thrilled to be spending at least one further year at the helm.

“I have a feeling that I’m living through a unique experience,” said Valverde. “I’m grateful that the club values what I am doing.

“So, I thought about the possibility of continuing and really I am happy, delighted with the situation.

“We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. A lot of games to win, a lot of trophies to win as well.

“And the fact that the club is thinking about me to continue with the project makes me feel good and gives me more responsibility.”

President Josep Maria Bartomeu added: “By renewing Ernesto Valverde’s contract we are guaranteeing the continuation of a coach and person who so excellently represents the Barcelona values and our way of understanding football. We’re sharing a winning project for Barca.”

Barcelona are six points clear at the top of LaLiga despite drawing their past two games in the league, while Valverde’s side face Lyon in the last 16 of the Champions League and take on rivals Real Madrid in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final later this month.

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