Ernesto Valverde is perhaps a name that won’t be remembered fondly among Barcelona fans.
The Spanish tactician was asked to replace Luis Enrique in 2017 and his spell at Camp Nou marked the beginning of a downfall, though others view his ensure as a successful one.
Currently managing Athletic Club, Valverde, in a media interaction, has recently opened up on his Barcelona tenure and spoke about various things.
“Cruyffism is a lie”
The most striking part of the interview saw Valverde talk about Barcelona’s identity and the sense of ‘Cruyffism’.
Ernesto believes there is no such thing and even at their prime, Barcelona used to hurl in crosses into the box.
“I heard about the Cruyffism thing over 500 times. I must have learned something by having him as a manager. But I can tell you, even then, we used to throw long balls into the ball for Alexanco when we were losing. But yes, that DNA thing is sort of a lie,” he said.
It must be noted that Ernesto Valverde has worked under Johan Cruyff as a player, featuring in 27 competitive matches for Barcelona under the Dutchman.
Ernesto Valverde on his Barcelona spell
Valverde went on to speak about his term as the Barcelona coach, suggesting that the club performed ‘very well’ under his leadership.
“I was a manager for another team and I was called to manage Barça. I replaced a great manager [Luis Enrique], with a great team,” he said.
“Neymar left, and I tried to do my best. I adapted myself to the situation. Things went well. No, sorry, not well. Things went very, very well,” he added.
Ernesto Valverde was in charge of Barcelona for 145 matches, where he guided the team to 97 victories. He was also the last manager before Xavi to help Barcelona secure the league title.
Valverde’s success on the domestic front, though, was shadowed by Barcelona’s faltering performances in Europe.
When asked whether he will always be remembered for the team’s performances against Roma and Liverpool, the Spaniard replied, “That’s nonsense. I don’t know if I should say it, but when I signed for Barça people told me that I had to have a lobby.”
“When I arrived in Barcelona, I tried to adapt to the big stars, the new environment. Slowly you have to win them over. It was not easy, but eventually it went well for us,” he added.
Finally, Ernesto Valverde admitted he was very happy with his time at Barcelona.
“It felt very good to manage Barça, with the good times and the bad times. I’m not going to stop at that, or at all. In the end, I don’t want to complain about anything either. Things are as they are,” he said.