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Barcelona coach coy on Catalonia crisis

Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde repeatedly batted away questions on the Catalonia crisis on Friday insisting it was not his role to enter the political fray.

With Catalonia’s regional parliament approving a declaration of independence dominating news Friday Valverde was preparing Barcelona for an away game at Athletic Bilbao in Spain’s La Liga.

“Everyone has their responsibility,” he said refusing to speak about the political crisis.

“I am the coach of Barcelona and I will try to have my team win,” he said

“I’m just focussed on winning this match,” said Valverde. 

Bombarded with consistent questions on the crisis Valverde remained stoic.

“It’s not for me to draw conclusions, but like everyone I have my own opinion on the matter,” he said.

“But I would like to remain solely focussed on the sporting side of things.”

“Nothing has happened yet and so far we are talking about assumptions (about the crisis). It’s okay drawing conclusions but let’s just talk about reality,” he said.

“And the reality is that tomorrow we have a game and we will try to win it.”

“Athletico are very strong at home and always have been. Their fans get behind them and the team never gives up,” he said of Saturday’s rivals who sit 11th in La liga 14 points behind Barca.

“And they always seem very motivated when we go there, its a real classic every time we go.

“It’s a game everybody wants to play in, it’s a stressful game against a dangerous team,” he added.

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