Ernesto Valverde faced the press on Monday in Milan ahead of Tuesday’s final Champions League group game against Inter at the San Siro.
The Barcelona boss talked about his team selection, Lionel Messi’s absence, Arthur’s injury problems and the threat posed by Antonio Conte’s side.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on Inter
I expect the best Inter. At Camp Nou they made it very difficult for us and now we come to Italy to compete. It is an important challenge. We know that we have qualified, but our goal doesn’t change: we want to win.
Valverde on leaving Messi out
We have been winning matches and watching what we have ahead, so I have decided not to bring Messi. Last year, we played a great game here and did not play Messi.
He needs to rest. We’re coming off many consecutive games and we have other important ones to play. He’s a decisive player, but our goal tomorrow does not change, we want to win against Inter.
Valverde on team selection
Jordi Alba doesn’t have the medical all clear, neither does Semedo and Messi has been rested. Neto will play tomorrow, he is a great goalkeeper and he has not yet been able to play.
Valverde on Lautaro Martinez
He is having a great season. He is fast and powerful and scored a great goal at the Camp Nou. He has a very good understanding with Lukaku and their movement gives a lot to Inter.
Valverde on Arthur’s injury
He’s been having some issues since the last time he played for Brazil, we hope he recovers quickly so he will be able to help us. Little by little it has got worse. He preferred to have a rest to see if it improves. Last season it was a problem that dragged throughout the season.