Since the loss in Rome, Lionel Messi stands with Valverde. Spanish coach faced another disaster and criticism last season after away match against Liverpool. Yesterday, Valverde said that he is proud to be a friend and coach of Lionel Messi.

Privilege to have Lionel Messi in the squad

Valverde said that it’s a big privilege to have Lionel Messi in the unit. When an exceptional player, who is born like one in the century, plays for your team, it’s essential. The Spanish coach said that he is fortunate and proud to coach Messi. At the same time, Valverde noted that it’s hard to enjoy being the coach of extra-class players because of everyday training and lost work. The coach mentioned that he would remember this moment forever.

Di Stefano and Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s coach said that elders are proud of Alfredo Di Stefano. Valverde says that the new generation will be proud of Lionel Messi. Coach believes that both players have impacted Spanish football at the same level.

About the retirement of Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s legendary player said that retirement is not far away. During the acceptance speech in Paris, Lionel said that he would retire soon.

Valverde thinks that it’s reasonable to think about retirement. The coach noted that Messi is 32 years old, and naturally, players can’t control age and health. Valverde believes that it will be hard to manage to play at the same level after 3-4 years so that Messi may think about retirement.

Importance of Rakitic

Barcelona’s coach thinks that Rakitic is a significant player. Croatian took a very problematic period and did very well. In some matches, Rakitic got a chance to play from starting line-up. Valverde says that Rakitic will get more minutes in the next games.

Blaugrana has a very long season. In a long-run championship, clubs need a good bench to win the trophy. That’s why Valverde thinks that Croatian will get many chances in the next few months.