Ernesto Valverde says Barcelona’s success in La Liga can be given extra credit score if there wasn’t such an enormous hole between his facet and the chasing pack.
Barca stay unbeaten within the league this season and sit 11 factors away from Atletico Madrid going into Tuesday’s sport at Celta Vigo. They want simply seven factors from their closing six fixtures to safe their seventh title in 10 years.
Nonetheless, final week’s surprising Champions League elimination to Roma has introduced their season into wider focus. The Spanish press has accused Valverde of mismanaging his sources whereas Barca’s place on the prime of the desk has been brushed underneath the carpet.
Luis Suarez moaned after Saturday’s win towards Valencia that it feels as if “winning the league has lost its merit” due to Barca’s European exit. And Valverde on Monday stated he believes issues can be considered in a different way if Barca hadn’t streaked away from their rivals, sapping the thrill out of any potential title race.
“Maybe it’s [because of] the position we’re in,” Valverde stated in a information convention when requested if he felt Barca’s achievements in La Liga have been being undervalued.
“If we were second, one point off the leaders, they would be giving a lot more value to [winning] the league title.”
Not solely are Barca on the cusp of profitable their 25th league title, however additionally they might turn out to be the first-ever facet to go a whole season in Spain’s prime flight unbeaten.
On Saturday, they face Sevilla within the Copa del Rey closing, too, with the opportunity of a second double in three years a really actual prospect.
“Our first objective is to win La Liga,” Valverde added. “But when we are able to do it with out dropping, that will be nice as a result of nobody has ever managed to try this. We all know that it is so tough, so tough, although, and that is why nobody has finished it.
“It’s exciting, but so is the double, which we also have a chance of winning. But I want to say: we have not achieved anything yet. Let’s see if we can take another step forward against Celta.”
Barca’s journey to Balaidos represents their sixth sport in simply 16 days and Valverde confirmed there can be modifications in Galicia with the weekend’s cup closing in thoughts.
Ivan Rakitic is the one participant sidelined by harm as he recovers from an operation on a damaged finger, however the coach stated Lionel Messi was amongst quite a few different gamers who might be given a relaxation.
In every of the final two seasons, Barca have been overwhelmed in Vigo, conceding 4 objectives on every event. As well as, Celta at the moment are coached by Juan Carlos Unzue, Luis Enrique’s former assistant, which the Blaugrana boss conceded might assist give them an inside monitor.
“Unzue knows our players and he knows what Celta have done to do damage to Barca in recent years,” Valverde stated. “In that sense, it is a bonus for them and it might situation the sport.
“But I don’t really have [those defeats] on my mind, even if I am aware of them. We’ve already played them three times this season and we know how good they are. They’re fighting for Europe and have done well at home against the other top teams this season, like Sevilla and Real Madrid.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Comply with him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.