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Ernesto Valverde talks Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool

The latest from the Barcelona boss

FC Barcelona Training and Press Conference Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde faced the press ahead of Wednesday’s eagerly-awaited Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool at the Camp Nou.

The Barcelona boss talked about his key men Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and also spoke about the threat offered by Liverpool and how his team can cope with the Reds.

Here are the best bits:

Valverde on Messi

Lionel is feeling fine, and throughout this month we have been able to rest him more than others. We have been playing three games a week, we’ve played United and now it’s Liverpool. The workload is high but we are ready for this.

Valverde on Suarez

Suarez has played every game. I’d have liked to given him a bit of a rest against Levante. I have a feeling he is motivated to play against Liverpool but Luis is motivated to play against every team. He is like that.

Valverde on Liverpool

Liverpool are a very powerful team, who play with a great level of pressure and rhythm. They’ll be a very difficult opponent to beat. Our intention is to win, but we know the value of stopping them from scoring. We have to play two good matches.

They have extraordinary forwards, the press really well and they have a lot of pace. They’re a tough side to beat. They’ve lost once in the league all season. That tells you a lot about them.

They have a set game that feeds the three attackers; they push forward their defence and they want to steal the ball in your area to throw it fast to the forwards. They are good in aerial duels and we need to be up to the task. You have to have an answer to their impetus and you have to know how to overcome the suffocating pressure they implement.

Valverde on Klopp’s comments

The Camp Nou fans have been decisive in the last few weeks, we’ve seen quite a few games with over 90,000 fans. We feel it and our rivals feel it, so we want them to feel it tomorrow. I think Jurgen’s words were more about taking drama out of the day. It’s a football game, a pitch, and 22 players ready to play.

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