Barcelona played the first home match of the new season on Sunday as they faced and defeated Arsenal in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou. Ernesto Valverde spoke after the match about a number of topics, from Frenkie De Jong to Junior Firpo and everything in between.
On Gamper match
It was a Gamper with fresh faces, a lot of changes, I wanted everyone to play. At the end we were able to win against a strong opponent that’s already playing a league match next week.
On Frenkie De Jong and Luis Suárez
I saw a very hungry Luis Suárez, and with De Jong you can clearly see how much he wants to have the ball and use it.
On Junior Firpo’s signing and fit with the squad
He’s a strong, quick, young player. The club thinks he has a future, someone who can help us and be a good complement to Jordi [Alba] in that position. He’s a young player who already has experience in La Liga and can help us. He’s a different player to Jordi Alba. We thought we needed him to have a player who can give Jordi a rest in more games. He’s a player with a good future who can do well for us.
On Riqui Puig’s first team status
[Puig] will be registered as a second team player, which is an advantage: he can play for both teams.
On Lionel Messi’s speech and goals for the season
We’re always under pressure to win titles, we have to fight to always win every match. What we want is to not make mistake in crucial moments, so we have to work well in the months before we arrive there.
On the United States tour
The tour is important from an economic and social standpoint, but it forces us to adapt a lot. We’ll see how to solve it because it’s not easy.