"I have nothing to say about that," Ernesto Valverde replied to the first question from the press conference after the defeat. They had asked him if he had run out of credit to continue in office. The coach did say that he feels hard to follow: "I feel good, but it is clear that when you win you are always better. Reading is different from the game we played 15 days ago [the defeat at Anfield], although the reality is that we have lost again. We were not able to meet the expectations we had generated. "
Only a few minutes before, the president Josep Maria Bartomeu had exiled him from the defeat: "Ernesto has a contract for next season. I do not think the defeat has been his fault. Sometimes, even if you dominate the possession and generate occasions, the goals do not arrive. " Before the final, Bartomeu had twice publicly ratified the confidence in Valverde despite the defeat of Anfield. Now, however, the Blaugrana coach has been left without the force that would have added his second consecutive defeat to Barça. Aside from excusing Valverde, a technician that some voices within the board of the club insist on changing, Bartomeu also sent a message in favor of the players: "The players have worked hard and today they have left their skin."
The Blaugrana coach, meanwhile, also praised his team's reaction despite not being able to turn the scoreboard – "players have been cleared," he said – and assumed responsibility for the defeat in a message with a certain amount struck due to the criticisms that are exposed: "In this club the coach always makes mistakes. I assume this responsibility, but I feel strongly to continue. " Valverde also took stock of the season: "We now have a bad feeling, but if I had been told they would come to May 1 for the semifinals of the Champions League, the Copa final and with the League won, I would have signed it. It is hard to lose at this point, but I prefer to lose in some semifinals or a final than before. "
Piqué also defends Valverde
Apart from Bartomeu, Gerard Piqué also defended his coach, despite affirming that it is a decision that does not correspond to the dressing room. "We would like Valverde to continue, have done a good job, but that does not depend on us. Changes? It is not the responsibility of the players. People have decided that this board is the one who has to make decisions and it is in their hands. "