After his dismissal as Barcelona coach in January, Ernesto Valverde has been keeping somewhat of a low profile, with the Spanish coach admitting that the only match he has seen in the month since his firing was the Copa del Rey clash between Athletic Club and Barcelona.
However, after returning to the Estadio San Mames to take part in a football forum in Bilbao, Valverde has offered an insight into how he has attempted to move past the disappointment of losing his job.”I haven’t seen much football in these past weeks, the only match I’ve seen in full was Athletic Club and Barcelona in the Copa del Rey,” Valverde explained.
“I have tried to put a little distance between myself and football.”When you are at a club you move at 200 miles per hour, then all of a sudden you stop moving, it’s always hard to see the team you have coached recently when you’re trying to build distance.
“Arguably, Valverde’s time in Barcelona was irreparably damaged by the Champions League defeats to Roma and Liverpool, something which the former Athletic Club coach sought to explain.
“For me they are different, in Rome, we didn’t finish the game well, whilst at Liverpool, they scored the early goal which we wanted to avoid,” he added.”A goal, in either case, would have seen us qualify and the Champions League is very difficult to win.
“All tournaments can depend on one match, one situation but the league instead grades what you have done over the course of a year.”Whilst sporting a slightly different look, with a somewhat unkempt beard, Valverde made clear that he knew the pressures of coaching Barcelona going into the job, and that he is ready to look at new coaching opportunities.
“Coaching Barcelona has been an incredible experience, I’m delighted to have been there, but when you sign the contract you already know that everything comes down to results and that the coach will always be held responsible, he confirmed.
“I don’t think about whether I felt I was unfairly treated, what good is looking backwards?”I’m interested in moving forward, although I still haven’t made any decisions, perhaps I’ll go on adventure, Andres Iniesta told me a lot about Japan, I plan to go and watch several teams, I want to be with other coaches and discuss with them the issues and situations that come with the job.”