Ernesto Valverde has been talking ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Real Madrid for the second leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey semi-final.
The Barcelona boss spoke about Los Blancos, the fitness of Arthur and Samuel Umtiti and VAR.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on Real Madrid
We have to play to win, like we always do. It will be an appealing game for people, but we want to win. It’s an important match, a Clasico at the Bernabeu is always complicated. The semi-finals are wide open, nothing has been decided, but we expect to go through.
Valverde on Vinicius
I wouldn’t say he changes the team if he’s in it or not, but he is certainly a decisive player. When their play drops a little, he lifts it, but if he doesn’t play, then Asensio will play, or Bale or Isco. Vinicius is not their only player.
Valverde on Arthur
We’d like to have him back for Saturday. There’s a chance he’ll be ready. He’s a different kind of player, who offers us many things. He brings something different to our midfield.
He’s a great player and he’s done a lot of good for us, but there have also been games where he’s played and we haven’t done so well. Yes, he’s different to any other player, but we have to accept it when he’s not there and try to deal with it.
It’s a decisive game, and we’ll play the best team we can to win the game.
Valverde on VAR
There’s no panic surrounding it at all. Controversy is always going to be there both in football and other sports and it’s more to do with people than the sport itself. We’ll look to win and forget about everything else.
Valverde on Umtiti fitness
He felt great yesterday. We were eager to see how he felt after his efforts. I won’t deny that playing him against Sevilla was risky. Now we see he is fine.