Luis Suarez said Barcelona’s players must take the blame for their Super Cup capitulation and not Ernesto Valverde. He explained: “[Valverde] is not to blame, the mistakes were ours and we can’t make them. I do not know if they are defeats that help us grow, [but] this defeat shows that there are things to correct.”
Barcelona’s defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup means the team have won just one of their last five games. The champions beat Alaves 4-1 before Christmas but otherwise have drawn against Espanyol, Real Madrid and Real Sociedad and now lost to Atletico.
Antoine Griezmann spoke about VAR after Thursday’s defeat to his former club. He said: “We have VAR to help football. Sometimes it helps you and sometimes it goes against you, but it is what it is.”
Ernesto Valverde has given his players three days off after defeat to Atletico. The team fly back to Spain on Friday and have the weekend off. They are not due to return to training until Monday.
Ansu Fati became the youngest play to debut in the Super Cup when he came off the bench to replace Frenkie de Jong late on. The teenager took to the pitch aged 17 years and 70 days, beating the previous record held by Nano, who played at 17 years and 117 days in 1999.
Andres Iniesta has been asked about the possibility of Neymar returning to Barcelona. He said: “He’s one of the best forwards out there, not just now. He’d be a great signing for Barcelona, another thing is whether it’s necessary or not. For me, he’s one of the best and he’d be a great.”
Diego Simeone was full of praise for his side’s fightback against Barcelona in the Super Cup. He said after the match: “We faced a difficult situation, almost impossible. But, we had the feeling that if we could get an equaliser, we could win the game, and that’s what happened.”
Lionel Messi was critical of his team after losing 3-2 to Atletico Madrid. The Barcelona captain complained about his team’s “childish mistakes” and said he felt they had done enough to win the match.