- Title: Messi likely back from injury in time for Valencia - Valverde
- Date: 30th August 2019
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (AUGUST 30, 2019) (REUTERS) STRIKER ANTOINE GRIEZMANN WALKING ON PITCH BARCELONA TEAM MEMBERS WALKING ON PITCH LEO MESSI WALKING ONTO PITCH LUIS SUAREZ AND MESSI WALKING ON PITCH PLAYERS HOLD A MINUTE'S SILENCE IN MEMORY OF FORMER PLAYER AND COACH LUIS ENRIQUE'S DAUGHTER XANA VARIOUS OF SUAREZ AND MESSI WALKING AND TALKING TO EACH OTHER VARIOUS OF TEAM AT TRAINING SESSION BARCELONA COACH ERNESTO VALVERDE WALKING INTO NEWS CONFERENCE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ERNESTO VALVERDE, BARCELONA COACH, ON FORMER COACH LUIS ENRIQUE'S DAUGHTER DYING, SAYING: "I want there to be a memory for Luis Enrique's family, for all of them, it's difficult to find the right words to comfort people living in such hard times, but I want to send all our love and support and encouragement for him and his family from all of us who work here and are part of Barca and send him a big hug." PLAYERS TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ERNESTO VALVERDE, BARCELONA COACH, ON TRANSFER MARKET, SAYING: "I really want that day to come and we all finally rest and know exactly how things are because it's been a while and that's it. About Neymar, I don't have anything to say, he's a player from another team and as always we respect other rivals and that's it, we will see what happens." PLAYERS TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ERNESTO VALVERDE, BARCELONA COACH, ON LIONEL MESSI INJURY, SAYING: "Well, he follows the normal recovery process. It's true that with these extra days we expect that he can be available for the match against Valencia. After that we start the Champions (League) and the dates are very close to each other and we expect to count on him, but we have to see how his injury evolves in these two weeks." PLAYERS TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ERNESTO VALVERDE, BARCELONA COACH, ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, SAYING: "We had a hard draw, the same thing as in the previous years, there's no surprise, it will be complicated as usual. Last year I think we won eight games and our intention this year, like the previous ones, is to be the first in the group in order to play what comes next, but what comes next does not worry us too much yet, first we have to worry about what we have, and it's the group stage and we have hard work (ahead of us) because they are great rivals." VALVERDE WALKING ON PITCH (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ERNESTO VALVERDE, BARCELONA COACH, ON MATCH AGAINST OSASUNA, SAYING: "If we look back at Osasuna's history, they have always been a fearsome opponent at the Sadar (Osasuna stadium). A team which pushes you towards your goal, a team with which you cannot neglect and I assume they will try to take advantage of the thrust of their fans to take the game forward. They are living a party, they have just returned to the first division and they are euphoric in that sense, they have started very well and I guess tomorrow there will be a great atmosphere, I also expect a lot of heat, I guess we have to adapt to everything but for us those three points are very important." PLAYERS TRAINING VALVERDE SMILING AND LEAVING
- Embargoed: 13th September 2019 17:24
- Keywords: Spain Barcelona La Liga Ernesto Valverde Luis Enrique Lionel Messi Osasuna
- Location: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUEUDZ3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde offered his condolences to his predecessor Luis Enrique following the death of his daughter Xana after a 5-month battle against bone cancer.
Players also held a minute's silence in her memory on the training ground as the club provides support to their former player and first team coach.
During a news conference on Friday (August 30) previewing Barcelona's league fixture at Osasuna, he refused to discuss transfer talk regarding a rumoured return for Brazilian Neymar to the Catalan club.
Valverde also said the club would monitor Lionel Messi's calf injury and expect him to be back in mid-September for their clash against Valencia.
Barcelona were once again drawn into arguably the toughest group of the Champions League on Thursday (August 29) with Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan landing in their group. The Spanish champions are still regarded as clear favourites to win the group.
(Production: Jordi Rubio, Luis Felipe Fernandez, Mussab Al-Khairalla)
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