Cup run is no bad thing for Barcelona, says Valverde
The Catalans, who won the Copa del Rey and La Liga last season, face Levante in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday evening
Ernesto Valverde rejected the suggestion that a run in the Copa del Rey could derail Barcelona’s La Liga title charge, saying his side are intent on winning both competitions.
The Blaugrana face Levante in the first leg of their round of 16 tie on Thursday, four days after claiming a hard-fought 2-1 win at Getafe in the league.
A home game against Eibar awaits Valverde’s men on Sunday but the coach played down the idea that the additional fixtures were a threat to his side’s chances of glory.
“The team looks good,” he told reporters. “We just had a break, the players had some rest, and everybody was able to charge their batteries.
“If we have a lot of cup matches coming up that’s good, because it means we’re going through.
“People are saying a cup run could cause us a problem but I’m not so convinced about that. Last season we might have dropped a point or two.
“It’s true the games come all at once and we have to make changes but the excitement for the club means a lot to us.
“Everyone loves playing in semi-finals and finals. We have to go for it. We want to win La Liga and the Copa del Rey, too.”
Valverde indicated that Munir El Haddadi has played his last game for Barcelona, saying the 23-year-old has “made a decision” regarding his future.
With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the forward is the subject of reports linking him with a move to Sevilla, and Valverde left him out of the Barcelona squad at Getafe.
After emerging from Barcelona’s youth ranks to make his first-team debut in 2014-15, Munir has twice been loaned out and he has featured in Valverde’s starting line-up just once in La Liga this season.
“It appears that Munir has made a decision. The club also,” said Valverde.
“The sooner a solution is found, the better. If it can be resolved in the winter transfer market, all the better.”