Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has branded Lionel Messi as a ‘genius’ after the Argentine starred during the club’s 3-0 win over Alaves in the season opener. Messi had a rather frustrating World Cup with Argentina over the summer but he managed to shed the disappointment with a brace to kick-start the league campaign.
Speaking after the game, Valverde was full of praise for the attacker, who scored Barcelona’s 6000th La Liga goal with a lovely free-kick which was intentionally placed underneath the opposition wall, he said: “Messi is a genius. We’re lucky to be able to see him every day. We’re lucky to be involved in football during the era in which he is playing — we want him to pull a rabbit from the hat every day. There’s still room for Messi to surprise us. He always surprises you — he never ceases to amaze me, honestly. You have to be ready to expect anything from Messi because he sees what no one else sees.”
Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Steven Gerrard spoke about the influence Sergio Busquets has at the heart of the Barcelona midfield. The likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have earned praise for their goalscoring exploits over the years, but Gerrard believes Busquets is equally influential in the Catalan ranks.
Speaking on BT Sport, Gerrard admitted that it was frustrating to find himself playing against Busquets with the Spaniard capable of maintain a tireless workrate over the course of 90 minutes, he said: “Having played against him, in the end you stop pressing him because it’s just so frustrating.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has claimed that there was a possibility of his team trying to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann in the coming transfer windows. The French superstar had been linked heavily with a move to Manchester United during the summer, but this did not materialise due to Atletico’s transfer ban. Since a departure for Griezmann in the summer would have left the club seriously short of options up front, they decided to persuade the Frenchman to stay at the club. However, Griezmann does not seem to be entirely happy at Atletico with the forward coming in with some poor performances.
Manchester United brought in Romelu Lukaku once they found out that they would not be able to bring in Griezmann in the summer. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Red Devils will be in the market for the striker come the January transfer window or the summer. In this scenario, Barcelona are looking to take advantage of the situation by making an offer for the player. After having had a spectacular start to his life at Barcelona, manager Ernesto Valverde claims that Griezmann is a player who would fit in well at the Camp Nou. There have been previous transfers between Atletico and Barcelona with the recent high profile switch being Arda Turan.