Ernesto Valverde has opened up about his time at Barcelona and about his exit from the Catalan club in January of 2020.
The coach was even asked about Lionel Messi, who has also now departed the Blaugrana. There were rumours that Valverde had some arguments with his captain, but he doesn’t want to reveal what happened behind closed doors.
“I can’t say what happened,” the Extremadura native said in an interview with ETB’s ‘El Dia de Manana’ show.
“It’s part of the mystique. It’s better that people don’t know what we’re like and think we know it all. It’s better that people don’t know the truth.”
He also reflected on his exit from the club and on whether or not he plans to return to a dugout at another team.
“I suppose it’s possible I could coach again,” he said.
“But it would have to be a different project, something stimulating and motivating”
“After leaving Barcelona I needed some downtime. I had wanted to travel, but with the pandemic, it wasn’t possible.”
“At the moment I’m not clear about what I’m going to do next.”
Even more than Barcelona, it’s Athletic Club that is the club most synonymous with Txingurri.
Valverde made 188 appearances for Los Leones between 1990 and 1996 and then managed them on two separate occasions, most notably during a glorious spell between 2013 and 2017 which led to him getting the Barcelona job.
“I felt happiest at Athletic in every way,” he said.
“It would be difficult to find that sense of belonging anywhere else. Everything is in your favour, everything is there for you and you identify with everything.”
“People question their philosophy [of only using players from the region], but they keep doing it and they’ve reached finals doing so, and won a Supercopa de Espana.”
“That team I managed was fantastic. They kept us going for those four years.”
“The personal relationships were tremendous and, as a result, my exit was really difficult. It was harder saying goodbye to the players than doing the press conference. I felt as one with them.”