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Revealed: Why Barcelona won't be sacking Valverde

12:05 am AEST 1/6/19
Ernesto Valverde Barcelona 2019
The Spaniard retains the support of the board and will remain at Camp Nou despite speculation that the club were looking for a replacement

First came the disastrous Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool. Then there was Copa del Rey final loss. It seemed as though Ernesto Valverde was on the brink at Barcelona.

That couldn't, however, be further from the truth.

Goal understands that, despite what has been reported in the press, the prospect of Valverde being sacked at Camp Nou has never crossed the minds of the Barca hierarchy.

Lionel Messi doesn't often talk to the media but when he does speak, everyone listens. And that was the case as the Argentine conducted his first press conference in some four years to offer his full support to his manager after the Anfield debacle.

"I think the coach has done an impressive job," he told reporters. "I think in that elimination against Liverpool, he is practically blameless. We are the only ones to blame for that match.

"It was unfortunate the match we played, the image we left behind. That happened two years in a row, that we missed out on the Champions League final. The truth is what happened cannot be allowed. We were playing a final.

"He will be as guilty as everyone else in the locker room but the ones who [are most guilty] are us."

And it is a view shared by the majority of the Barca squad, who want Valverde to continue the positive work he has been doing at Camp Nou.

While the capitulation on Merseyside and the defeat to Valencia in the cup final cannot be swept under the carpet, Barca did manage to win La Liga with relative ease. 

The title win in 2018-19 was their second in a row under Valverde and, to add further gloss to the achievement, Barca finished 19 points ahead of Real Madrid.

President Josep Bartomeu and the Barca board are also keen to ensure stability within the club whereby a change of manager would cause necessary upheaval.

Even if they had decided to remove the Spaniard from his position, there is a feeling that there is not the right candidate available to step in, with none of Ronald Koeman, Massimiliano Allegri and Roberto Martinez, who have all been linked, considered the perfect match.

There is also the acceptance that, although Valverde is the man steering the ship, the blame cannot be placed entirely on his shoulders.

As Messi alluded to in his speech, the players must take some of the flack for their end-of-season dip, while Bartomeu also considers Pep Segura partly responsible.

The sporting director at Barca authorised the sales of Paulinho and Paco Alcacer, despite Valverde having wanted them to remain, while he also sanctioned the loan deal for Kevin-Prince Boateng, which has proved disastrous.

Contracted to Barca until 2020, Valverde's going nowhere. The challenge now is to keep the trophies rolling in.