Valverde says more to come from Messi and co
Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was again left singing the praises of Lionel Messi as he starred in the 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.
The Argentina international was making his 700th appearance for the club, and marked the occasion with his 613th goal as Barca booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Messi also chipped in with two assists. First he set up Luis Suarez for the opener, and then turned provider for Antoine Griezmann, after he had given Barca a 2-0 lead with his own strike.
Valverde was delighted with the performance and then fired a chilling warning to Barcelona’s rivals by claiming they will get even better when Messi fully gels with new boy Griezmann.
“A lot is said about their connection, especially when one of them scores,” Valverde told a post-match press conference. “Good players always understand each other.
“For example, Luis (Suarez) and Leo understand each other to perfection because they’ve spent a long time playing together. Messi and Griezmann will understand each other better with time.
“We have to find the right timing for this. With time, it will be much better. What can I say about Messi, he was incredible.”
Valverde also went on to salute his players for qualifying from Group F with a game to spare. With Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund in the group it was always going to be a tall order but they came through with flying colours.
They now head to Inter Milan for the final group game safe in the knowledge that qualification for the 16 and top spot in the group, are firmly in the bag.
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.