Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Sweden SWE 1

South Korea KOR 0

REPORT

Belgium BEL 3

Panama PAN 0

REPORT

Tunisia TUN 1

England ENG 2

REPORT

Colombia COL 1

Japan JPN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 1

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Russia RUS 3

Egypt EGY 1

REPORT

Portugal POR 1

Morocco MAR 0

Ongoing

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Home Sport Football

Valverde insists he can deal with criticism of Barcelona’s Champions League exit

Barcelona are reeling from the 3-0 surrender to Roma on Tuesday that saw them exit Europe on away goals.

Barcelona are powering towards a record-breaking LaLiga title triumph yet manager Ernesto Valverde finds himself under fierce attack as the inquest into the club’s Champions League exit continues.

Victory over Valencia at the Nou Camp on Saturday would increase their unbeaten league run to 39 games, surpassing the previous highest mark set by Real Socieded 38 years ago, and propel them ever closer to a seventh crown in the last decade.

But despite sweeping all before them on the domestic front, Barcelona are reeling from the 3-0 surrender to Roma on Tuesday that saw them exit Europe on away goals and it is Valverde who is bearing the brunt of the fallout.

“I’m fine and this is not the worst moment of my career, for sure,” Valverde said in quotes reported by Marca.

“It’s obviously a bad moment, I’m not going to deny it, we’re all here to win games and when we lose we have to get together.

“I knew what it would be like when I signed a contract with the club. You have to stay strong when the defeats come. This does not surprise me, I knew it. It has happened to everyone and it happens to me.

“It’s been a long time since we had a defeat. We had one against Espanyol in January, but we turned that tie around. When you sign a contract with a club like Barca, that’s what you have to cope with.

“You have to show your face when you’ve lost games. I knew that when I came into the job. It hasn’t surprised me. It happened to  other coaches before me and it’s going to happen to me again.”

Sergio Busquets could be involved as he nears recovery from a broken foot and he has been included in the squad for the visit of Valencia, but Ivan Rakitic has been ruled out by a broken finger.

“It’s a difficult moment in the season, maybe the most difficult since August,” said Valverde, whose team are also in the Copa del Rey final.

“We have lost and we are out of a competition that we were very excited about; we feel for ourselves and for the fans.

“In the end, what you want is for another game to come round.”

Valencia boss Marcelino Garcia Toral refuses to view Barcelona, whose talisman Lionel Messi is out of form, as vulnerable following their demise in Europe.

“We are heading there excited and with ambitions of our own, but what happened this week in the Champions League won’t have a negative effect on them,” he said.

“It is rare for Barcelona to lose two consecutive games. We are going to put in all that we can to try and get a result.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph