With FC Barcelona comfortably sitting at the top of the Group, Ernesto Valverde didn’t call Lionel Messi for their clash vs. Internazionale, giving a chance to the young players instead.
Needless to say, his gamble paid off big time, as Carles Perez and Ansu Fati brought three more points home and sent Inter all the way back to the UEFA Europa League.
Hence, Valverde had a lot of good things to say about their young players, especially Ansu Fati, who’s been turning a lot of heads lately and recently become the youngest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history:
“They (Fati and Perez) are two players who have reached the first team this year. Young players, very young in the case of Ansu. The game was complicated, especially for Carles Perez because they had an experienced defense and he started, but he has a goal because he hits the ball well. Ansu has been going through some physical difficulty, with some discomfort, but he is a born scorer,” Valverde claimed during a press conference, as quoted by BeSoccer.
Moreover, the Spanish boss talked about the importance of winning the European trophy again, claiming the team still needs to find consistency if they want to take some silverware home:
“We have a very big obligation with our club and with this competition. We have shown that you have to win everywhere and today’s game was not going to be an exception. We are fine, but I like to see everything in a more continuous way. At first, we had difficulties. This group phase has been difficult for us. We suffered to overcome Inter, to win at Slavia (Prague). But we are here and we have a tremendous challenge with three games in a week and we want to close well,” Valverde concluded.