What a Barcelona 'heavyweight' player said to Ernesto Valverde after 3-0 Roma defeat

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Barcelona were knocked out the Champions League by Roma in shocking fashion last week.

The Catalan giants comfortably won the first leg of their quarter-final 4-1 in Barcelona and they were seen as overwhelming favourites to progress.

However, they were horrendous in the second leg and goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas sent Roma through on away goals.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, who is set to reclaim the La Liga title from Real Madrid, has come under heavy criticism for his tactics in Rome.

"The truth is that it was a game in which we couldn't play our football," Valverde said to reporters after the humiliating 3-0 defeat. "[Roma] were very aggressive, they played very well and we have to congratulate them.

"It was a bad day for us because we couldn't overcome their pressure. You had the sensation that they could get the third goal at any time and in the end, they did.

"The coach is the one who has to take responsibility," he added. "[The coach] chooses the team, the changes, he plans the game, the season... so I am absolutely responsible for everything."

Valverde scolded in dressing room

According to Catalan newspaper Sport, some of the Barcelona players told Valverde what they really thought of his decisions.

A 'dressing room heavyweight' reportedly scorned the 54-year-old coach, telling him "Boss, this was a game for physical players."


Valverde listened to the player but was unable to give him an answer.

It has been widely accepted that the former Athletic Bilbao coach got his tactics and substitutions wrong at the Stadio Olimpico.

His first change came in the 81st minute, replacing Andres Iniesta with Andre Gomes - and Roma's winning goal came just one minute later.

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg

Valverde, who has exceeded expectations in La Liga, is expected to remain in charge for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

At 33 league games unbeaten, Barcelona surpassed previous record-holders Real Sociedad, who began the 1979-80 season with a run of 32 games without defeat.

Valverde's men have just five league games remaining as they look to become the first Liga side to ever go through an entire season undefeated.

Barca are hoping to win a domestic double and are due to face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday night.

Lionel Messi
AS Roma
La Liga

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