Ernesto Valverde had to deal with two pretty awful questions in his latest press conference as FC Barcelona prepare to take on Getafe.
The first came about 12 minutes into this video.
The journalist says: “there had been talk that Ousmane Dembele had asked for Lionel Messi’s shirt after his debut. I’m not sure if you are seeing him a little affected, excited to play alongside Messi at only 20 years old.”
The problem? That story about Dembele asking for Messi’s shirt seems like a fake started on Twitter.
The first reference I can find comes from this account, which later claimed to have done it to fool outlets in Spain.
Dembelé en ESPN Argentina: "Hoy, tras el partido, le he pedido la camiseta a Messi, no tenía ninguna. Sigo sin creerme que juegue con el" pic.twitter.com/Rgy737MhpK— Humor Culé ™ (@elhumorcule) September 12, 2017
An honest mistake, I guess, for a journalist to make... since it may have been repeated on Cadena COPE (I didn’t hear it first hand on COPE, but many said they did) and it was later reprinted by Diario SPORT.
The second question that I took issue with strikes me as even worse, though. It happens at around 16:30: “I’m not sure if you had power to choose the best 11 this week in the Champions League, you would have picked someone from your own team, after beating Juventus. I say that because UEFA did not pick any of your players for the team of the week.”
That journalist was referring to a team selected by UEFA that had the following players:
Fantasy Team of The Week UEFA Champions League— Peña Real Madrid BDG (@MI_BDG) September 15, 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo & Sergio Ramos pic.twitter.com/JvCYiRU06W
Except, you’ll notice, it’s from the Fantasy Team of the Week. That’s the players who generated the most points in the Fantasy Football game UEFA runs for the Champions League. It’s automated and based on how the game scores fantasy points (Messi lost a point for getting a yellow) and totally irrelevant and silly.
Valverde’s wry reply was simply “I guess they’re saving them for tomorrow, to have less rotation later.”
You’d think they’d give him less silly and/or inaccurate questions.