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Ernesto Valverde casts doubt over Barcelona future

Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona coach

Bengaluru, April 24: Barcelona’s humiliating 0-3 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg might have just overshadowed all that Ernesto Valverde has achieved for the Catalans this season. Despite being all but confirmed of a League double (La Liga and Copa del Rey) and on course to finishing the season undefeated, the former Athletic Bilbao manager has cast doubt over his future at the club.

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At a huge club like Barcelona, the board and fans expect much more than just domestic glory. And especially after falling out to underdogs AS Roma by blowing up a 4-1 lead, the board was expected to take some decisions. According to the Daily Mail, Valverde is already considering stepping down at the end of the season. The publication claims the 54-year-old is unhappy at reports which were leaked in the Spanish press last week.

Shortly before Barcelona's 5-0 Copa del Rey win against Sevilla on Saturday, Marca reported that Valverde was facing the sack regardless of the cup final result. The Spanish outlet claimed Barcelona chiefs were unhappy with the head coach due to the unexpected defeat to Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals. Valverde reportedly feels let down by club officials, including former Liverpool academy manager Pep Segura, who is now Barcelona's general manager.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo had also claimed that the humiliating defeat has heaped pressure on Valverde's shoulders.

”To win with Barcelona is an obligation, the Champions League, La Liga, the cup and this is always the way with big teams," Valverde said, suggesting he will quit.

”The pressure is the same with other finals, you have not won the title as you still have to play the final and there are two teams involved.

"We may be the favorites but you still have to play.

”In the Champions League we were favorites and we didn’t go through, I never thought when I was with Athletic that to beat Barcelona was a miracle but an opportunity and that is what the situation is tomorrow.”

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 19:24 [IST]
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