Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said he feels supported by club president Josep Bartomeu and compared the reaction to their Champions League exit to a child having a tantrum.
Barca crashed out in the semi-finals on Tuesday after one of the greatest comebacks in the tournament’s history saw them lose 4-0 to Liverpool and throw away a 3-0 advantage from the first leg.
The defeat has left Valverde’s future in doubt but, ahead of their penultimate La Liga game of the season at home to Getafe on Sunday, he insists he wants to continue.
“I’m not thinking about it, not at all,” Valverde said in a press conference on Saturday.
“I have the strength to continue, I’m fine, I’m like everyone else, what we want to do is take a step forward and face the situation, not hide under a stone.
“I’ve talked to the president and I’ve always felt supported by the club.
“I know that when there’s a blow of this kind, everything becomes disjointed. It’s as if you have to burn everything, like when our children have a tantrum, but you have to rebuild.”
Barcelona have already been crowned La Liga champions and could make it a domestic double by beating Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey later this month.
But even two trophies would not make amends for the collapse against Liverpool, given the Champions League was the one the club really craved this season.
“We are hurt, I’m not going to deny it,” Valverde said. “But we have time to recover for ourselves and also with our fans. We’re have to be honest with ourselves. We can lose against Liverpool, they have proved to be a great team.
“The problem it’s how we lost, especially in the second half when we did not play well. It was painful because we lost from a very favourable situation. But there is no other way than to look forward.”
Barcelona will be without Luis Suarez against Getafe after the Uruguayan had surgery on a knee injury on Thursday night. Suarez is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
Ousmane Dembele, Arthur Melo and Rafinha are also injured.
Valverde’s side are nine points clear at the top of La Liga with two games left while Getafe are chasing Champions League qualification. They sit fourth, three points ahead of Valencia and Sevilla.