Barcelona boss not counting trophies before they are secured
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said that the team can’t afford to rest on their laurels with the La Liga title within their grasp. The Blaugrana are favourites to retain the league title with a 10-point gap over Atletico Madrid, but Valverde is refusing to count the silverware until they manage to officially secure the crown.
He said: “We have not won yet, everything is yet to be decided. The three titles are equally close and far away, everything depends on small things. Since we started (the season), we have come a long way, (now) we are at the culminating moment. The players know, as I do, the difficulties that there are to win. They have lived this before, things are not certified until they are achieved.”
Barcelona are currently 10 points ahead of Atletico at the top of the league standings and they are favourites to secure the title, provided they can win six of the remaining nine matches. Elsewhere, they are favourites to clinch the Copa del Rey title for the fifth straight occasion against Valencia while they have made progress to the last eight of the Champions League.
The Catalan giants have failed to reach the semi-final stage since winning the elite competition four years ago, but they have good chance to do so with Manchester United at the last eight stage. The Red Devils have improved on their performances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this year but they still hold concerns at the back which should be exploited with Lionel Messi in the opposition ranks.