Ex Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde firmly believes Real Madrid are favorites to win the title among the rest of La Liga teams this season.
Valverde departed from Barca being on top of the standings over Real Madrid having a higher total of goal difference, yet Barcelona are three points behind currently under the hands of its new coach Quique Setien.
“Madrid are strong and very focused on the league title,” said Valverde at the Bilbao International Football Summit event.
From his exit with Barcelona, Valverde claimed that he has not been focused much on football lately saying, “I have tried to distance from everything that has happened, and this month the only match I have watched is Athletic Club against Barcelona.”
“When you are at a club you move at 200 miles per hour, then all of a sudden you stop moving, it’s always hard to see the team you have coached recently when you’re trying to build distance.”
From his total time spent together with Barcelona, the former coach believes he was treated fairly by the organization despite all the unwanted results encountered especially from its recent lost games this season.
“I was incredibly fortunate to coach Barcelona. I know what it means to coach there and I am delighted to have been there. When you sign the contract, you know that you depend on results and that the coach is always responsible.”
“I don’t think about whether I was unfairly treated. I understand why you would ask that, but I try to turn over the page and not go back over things. I want to look forward.” He said.
Valverde got dismissed with Barcelona after getting knocked out from the two Champions League games against Roma and Liverpool.
“In Rome, we didn’t get into the game and you think that with the players we had, we would be able to get through. And in Liverpool, when we started to play, they scored the goal we wanted to avoid.
“One goal would have given us the qualification and in a minute, they scored two goals. In the first leg, we suffered a lot, but we could have won by four. It is so hard to win the Champions League.” Valverde said.
Keeping a low profile, Valverde spoke about what plans he would take on his next journey, “I’m interested in moving forward, although I still haven’t made any decisions, perhaps I’ll go on adventure, Iniesta told me a lot about Japan, I plan to go and watch several teams, I want to be with other coaches and discuss with them the issues and situations that come with the job.”