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Guardiola gives his backing to ‘extraordinary’ new Barcelona boss Valverde

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Pep expects the 53-year-old to do well at Camp Nou

Manchester City v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola expects new coach Ernesto Valverde to be a big success at Barcelona and says the club do not need much to return to the top in Spain and Europe.

The former Barca boss was asked about the new man in charge and described him as "extraordinary" after the 53-year-old was unveiled at Camp Nou.

"I'm lucky enough to have Ernesto as a very good friend and I am sure he will do really well," Guardiola said via Sport.

"He's very close [to his players] and is a great manager. I wouldn't give him any advice.

"He should be himself. I think he's proven himself in Greece and in some difficult media environments, like Valencia. Also with Athletic. He knows a lot and he's an extraordinary person."

Valverde certainly has work to do with the club having finished second in La Liga and knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus but Guardiola does not feel they are too far behind rivals Real Madrid.

"There aren't many things they have to do, when a team wins the Copa and fights until the end to win la Liga," he added. "Barça have been the most competitive team in the last 15 years.

"Competitive means winning each week. And in the league no-one has matched that success. In Europe, a bad afternoon can send you out. But there hasn't been a team as competitive as Barça.

"Because the Champions League is shorter, you can play eight good games. But La Liga is every day. For that reason there's no better team and they will return to being [the best team]."