It's fashionable to not agree on political issues - Barca boss Valverde wants swift Clasico resolution

By Sports Desk October 19, 2019

Ernesto Valverde thinks "it is fashionable not to agree on anything in political matters" and is keen for a new date for Barcelona's Clasico contest with Real Madrid to be signed off as soon as possible.

The first LaLiga meeting between the fierce rivals this season was due to take place next Saturday at Camp Nou but the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday the match was postponed due to the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

There were violent scenes in Barcelona this week after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences over their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

The RFEF intervened after a rally in the city by pro-independence politicians was called for the same day as the Clasico.

Barca later suggested December 18 as a potential new date and Madrid agreed with the proposal, which still requires ratification from the RFEF's Competition Committee.

Speaking after Barca's 3-0 triumph at Eibar on Saturday, Valverde said: "I hope and I trust that we play this match before the end of the first round of fixtures, or at least before the end of the season.

"It's fashionable to not agree on anything on political issues. I hope that [there is an agreement] in this. I don't think it's too difficult."

On the pitch, Barca ultimately cruised at Ipurua with Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all on target in a win that saw the Blaugrana reach LaLiga's summit, albeit Madrid can reclaim top spot against Real Mallorca later on Saturday.

It was one of the best collaborative performances the trio have produced since Griezmann's close-season switch from Atletico Madrid and Valverde said it was a matter of time before the triumvirate gained an understanding playing with one another.

"It's a question of time and of playing matches," Valverde added.

"In the end, great players always find each other [on the pitch] and know where their team-mates will be and know where the pass will go.

"They've participated and worked very hard. This is the reward. They scored a goal each, they understood each other well.

"The new players are finding their place and trying to understand each other. It's a question of time before they understand each other better."

Related items

  • George Floyd demonstrations in Bundesliga will go unpunished, confirms DFB George Floyd demonstrations in Bundesliga will go unpunished, confirms DFB

    Jadon Sancho and the other Bundesliga stars who displayed anti-racism gestures and messages in support of the late George Floyd will not face punishment, the German Football Association (DFB) has announced.

    Floyd, a black American, died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations and riots across the United States and beyond.

    Sancho and Borussia Dortmund team-mate Achraf Hakimi each revealed T-shirts bearing the message "Justice for George Floyd" in their victory over Paderborn on Sunday.

    Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram had earlier taken a knee after scoring in the win over Union Berlin, while Schalke's USA international Weston McKennie sported an armband referencing Floyd.

    Such on-field statements or protests are prohibited and the DFB confirmed following the weekend's games it would be looking into the incidents.

    However, FIFA subsequently asked leagues to "use common sense" regarding the matter, before president Gianni Infantino said the players deserved "applause, not punishment".

    The DFB confirmed on Wednesday it would take no action for the "messages of anti-racism", while further demonstrations relating to racism and Floyd's death will also go unpunished.

    Anton Nachreiner, chairman of the DFB's control body, said: "It goes without saying that the DFB's control body always has FIFA and DFB regulations in mind.

    "In this specific case, however, these are deliberate actions of anti-racism by the players, who are thus campaigning for the very values which the DFB seeks to uphold.

    "So no action will be taken now, nor in the case of further anti-racism demonstrations over coming weeks."

    DFB president Fritz Keller added: "I welcome the far-sighted decision from the DFB's control body and am very pleased with it.

    "The DFB is opposed to all forms of racism, discrimination and violence, and stands for tolerance, openness and diversity - all values that are also deeply engrained with the DFB statutes.

    "That's why the players' actions have our respect and understanding."

  • Muller impressed with Flick's handling of Bayern pressure Muller impressed with Flick's handling of Bayern pressure

    Thomas Muller has been impressed with how effortlessly Hansi Flick has handled the pressure that comes with being Bayern Munich's head coach.

    Flick signed a contract to be Bayern's boss until 2023 in April, having taken over from Niko Kovac on an interim basis in November.

    He has overseen a run of eight straight league wins either side of the enforced break caused by the coronavirus pandemic, helping the Bavarian giants open up a seven-point lead at the Bundesliga summit.

    The role is Flick's first as a head coach since 2005 and Muller, who has been in fine form since he took over, praised the way the 55-year-old has dealt with the scrutiny.

    "I knew him from the German national team, but he also developed," he told a virtual media conference.  

    "I didn't know him as a head coach, but I am very impressed by how well he has handled this situation. It's a difference to be assistant coach in the national team, where the media is a little bit more on your side as we are all playing for Germany and they are reporting for Germany and everyone wants Germany to win.

    "But here in Munich, it's a little bit different. When you work for a club as big as Bayern is, you are always under pressure. The media is not always on your side and you have to be very successful to have a nice time here. I think he is handling it very, very well, so I am very satisfied about it."

    Bayern have scored 13 goals in their four games since returning to action last month, with Muller in no doubt Flick's desire to play aggressive football has been key to their success.

    "The most important thing for me was that he wants us to play very aggressively without the ball," he added. "Now, we play very aggressively, pressing in the opponents' half. We try to attack the opponent very early and with high intensity.

    "With these early wins of the ball, the distance to the opponents' goal to create chances is less, so we score a lot of goals. When we get the ball with our pressing in spaces where the opponent is not organised, we can do what you have seen in the last month."

    Bayern will be looking to make it nine consecutive Bundesliga wins when they travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. 

  • Coronavirus: Atalanta owner backs Gasperini following Valencia statement Coronavirus: Atalanta owner backs Gasperini following Valencia statement

    Atalanta owner Antonio Percassi has given his backing to head coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who was criticised by Valencia for being at a Champions League game despite suffering from coronavirus symptoms.

    Gasperini revealed last week he was scared as he appeared to suffer from COVID-19 as Atalanta defeated Valencia 4-3 behind closed doors in the Champions League on March 10.

    The Bergamo outfit advanced to the quarter-finals 8-4 on aggregate at Mestalla, although the competition has since been suspended due to the virus.

    Valencia expressed "surprise" at Gasperini's comments, suggesting his actions "put at risk numerous people" in the city.

    However, Percassi does not wish to drag the saga out, insisting he and Gasperini followed the rules and are moving forward.

    "I am with Gasperini and the players. I am looking ahead," he told L'Eco di Bergamo.

    "The controls say that, like Atalanta with our members, we did everything in compliance with the rules and with the utmost prudence.

    "This is fundamental for us. We are in Bergamo."

    With the Champions League reportedly set to resume in August, Atalanta will first return to Serie A action on June 21 as they look to secure qualification for Europe's elite club competition for next season.

    La Dea are fourth, three points clear of fifth-placed Roma with a game in hand.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.