Football

Lionel Messi & Ernesto Valverde won La Liga last season..

Lionel Messi reportedly has a strong opinion on the future of Ernesto Valverde at Barcelona

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Ernesto Valverde has never quite looked entirely comfortable in the Barcelona hot seat, despite his success.

The former Athletic Bilbao boss moved to Camp Nou at the start of last season and promptly led the Catalonian's to just one defeat in La Liga as they won the title.

He added the Copa del Rey, too, but despite the domestic double, Barcelona's Champions League exit left a sour taste in the mouths of many.

Barca gave up a 4-1 home win over AS Roma to exit on away goals, with the blame put squarely at the feet of Valverde.

The defensive, 'playing not to lose' strategy has consistently come under fire from fans and it all sets up a strange situation at the end of this season.

Valverde has a contract until June 2020 but there's an option for either the club or the coach to end the contract a year early if either wish.

An outcome is still up in the air as neither Barcelona or Valverde have made it clear what they want - do Barca want a more attacking coach? Is Valverde done with the stress in Catalonia after winning the title?

There's always a third opinion that comes into play with decisions like this, however: Lionel Messi's.

Messi has been in incredible form this season.

The Argentine legend will inevitably hold a lot of sway over the club and whether he wants Valverde to stay or go will likely influence what happens.

Well, according to a report from AS, we now know exactly what Messi wants - and it's for Valverde to stay on as boss.

A dressing room source says that Messi considers Valverde to be one of his favourite coaches that he's ever worked with, possibly even the favourite, and that he continues to be impressed by the way his manager reads the game.

Messi won his fifth European Golden Boot last season.

Barcelona will likely think twice about moving on from Valverde if it would upset Messi, while the boss will almost certainly feel a lot more comfortable at Camp Nou if he's got the #10 on his side.

We'll see at the end of the season what happens but with Messi's input, it certainly seems like Valverde will have a place at Barcelona.

Topics:
Football
Ernesto Valverde
La Liga
Lionel Messi

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