This Saturday is a derby day between Barça and Espanyol, a "rivalry game", which is played with the heart, regardless of the dynamics of the two teams, "according to Ernesto Valverde. "The League is equaled because all the teams are costing us to add out of things; That's why these points are worth a bit more, because of the difficulty that you have to add them away from home ", explained the Blaugrana coach. "Rubi Espanyol is different, but I do not know if he is a rival more or less complicated than last year, because the two games we played at home [de Lliga i Copa] We were faced with many difficulties with Quique Sánchez Flores, "said Valverde with prudence. The Txingurri, who has defined Espanyol de Rubi as a team that seeks to "have the initiative", has also warned of the danger that the party can "break". That's why they think they should be better than Espanyol.
The Blaugrana coach did not give clues about Luis Suárez and Arthur, but he said "they are optimistic" and that both Uruguayan and Brazilian have completed the training session on Thursday. Asked about the management of the dressing room and if he has to give "more esteem" to some players or others, Valverde smiled and explained that, despite the fact that each player is different, "everyone wants attention", and that the work of the " coach "is disgusted in some respects" because he has to choose an eleven and one call and this implies leaving people out. Regarding whether he expects an individual markup at Espanyol's Messi, Valverde has not ruled out, but has considered it not to be a "habitual approach" by Rubi.
"Football is not a possession game, football is soccer"
The name of Luis Suárez has been very present at the press conference and, if he does not arrive at the game, Valverde has valued the options of playing Messi, Munir or even Arturo Vidal (if he plays Messi) to occupy that position . "Arturo sees him as a midfielder, but if he sometimes occupies that position of '9' ahead of Messi, it's because he has arrived and, at some moments, that's fine: he makes us look ahead and he's a different player. Football is not a possession game, football is soccer. Sometimes you need soccer players with arrival and intensity ". Up to 14 Barça players have seen this season's goal: "It's a great deal, that not everything focuses only on two or three players, such as Messi and Suarez. This indicates that there are many players that relate well to the goal. "
In case he has changed with respect to his stage as an Espanyol coach, ten years ago, in his role as coach of Barça, Valverde, smiling, did not want to wet and resolved the matter, saying that "it was a very difficult question ". The Blaugrana coach delivered praise for Riqui Puig and Carles Aleñá, and also stressed that he did not expect to find a hostile atmosphere in Sarrià, but a white-and-blue hobby encouraging Espanyol, "how must it be in a Derby in a context of sports rivalry. " He also stated that he was expecting a "normal behavior" by Gerard Piqué, the protagonist of a controversy last year when he said that Espanyol was from Cornellà and not from Barcelona, and from Periquita fans.