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'A 4-0 loss to Liverpool is not normal' - Deco fears for Valverde's job at Barcelona

18:50 EAT 22/05/2019
Deco - cropped
Punted out of Europe in embarrassing fashion by a Reds side not at full strength, the 55-year-old's position in Catalonia looks unstable

Barcelona could still win the domestic double again this season, but former Blaugrana midfielder Deco feels Ernesto Valverde is still under pressure because of the humiliating Champions League exit to Liverpool.

Valverde won La Liga and the Copa del Rey in his first campaign last season and, after retaining the domestic title, his side will achieve a double-double if they beat Valencia in Saturday's cup final.

Yet the Barca boss' position still appears perilous because of the embarrassing way in which the club exited this year's Champions League.

Despite holding a 3-0 advantage from the first leg against Liverpool, Barca were thrashed 4-0 in the return fixture of the semi-final at Anfield, leaving Deco uncertain over Valverde's long-term future.

"I don't know the future because [at] Barcelona there's a lot of pressure," the Brazil-born former Portugal international said, who was speaking to Omnisport courtesy of the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour - Driven by Kia.

"When the competition started, one of my favourites to win was Liverpool because I knew they were strong, stronger than last season.

"But they had problems in the beginning, the group phase, and then they got better [later] in the competition.

"Of course, after 3-0 in Camp Nou, no one would have expected that without two of their most important players – [Mohamed] Salah and [Roberto] Firmino – that Liverpool could do that.

"It was difficult for Barcelona because it was a very tough defeat – a loss against Liverpool, 4-0, is not normal."

Deco played for Barca between 2004 and 2008, winning two La Liga titles and the Champions League in 2005-06.

He believes that the manner of the defeat to Liverpool would result in added scrutiny for any manager.

"I know in Barcelona there's a lot of pressure, every year they need to win," he added.

"I don't know what's happened. It's difficult, not just for Valverde but every coach who would be there in that moment."

The Liga champions take on Valencia – who finished fourth in the Spanish top flight – at Estadio Benito Villamarin, the home of Real Betis, on Saturday, with kick-off taking place at 8pm UK time.