How Ernesto Valverde reacted to seeing Lionel Messi at Barcelona training

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Lionel Messi doesn’t have too much time to celebrate his heroics on Tuesday night after he helped Argentina qualify for the Russia World Cup.

Messi’s incredible hat-trick saw his country beat Ecuador 3-1 and finish their South American qualification campaign in style.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would have been foolish to have too many celebratory drinks.

That’s because his Barca side travel to the Wanda Metropolitano for the first time to take on Atletico Madrid in a massive La Liga clash this weekend.

The Catalan club have started their league campaign tremendously with seven wins from seven matches but a clash against Diego Simeone’s side will no doubt be their biggest test of the season so far.

And they will be hoping that Messi can continue his Argentina form for Barcelona on Saturday night.

One thing is for sure, everyone at the Camp Nou is delighted to see Messi back after his heroics in midweek.


How Valverde reacted to Messi

And that includes manager Ernesto Valverde.

Spanish outlet, Sport, have produced a report explaining exactly how Valverde reacted to Messi’s return.

They explain that Valverde gave him a strong handshake and a hug before congratulating him for helping Argentina progress to the World Cup finals.


How nice of him.

Of course, Valverde won’t be too delighted for Messi and Argentina if the player can’t produce another magical display against Atleti.

No pressure, Leo.

Valverde on Messi's most impressive attribute

Valverde is, of course, only learning just how special it is to manage Messi and has named the one thing that impresses him the most ahead of the clash against Atletico.

"His perpetual competitiveness [impresses me most]," said Valverde.


"You know that he can resolve any game. He is the best player in the world, he knows that, and it is tough to carry that weight on your shoulders every day. 

"It is not just one day, it's today, tomorrow, the next day – it is an unbelievable level of competitiveness he has."

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