Valverde: ‘For Barcelona, Messi is the best’

Despite Lionel Messi being snubbed for FIFA’s The Best award this year,Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde believes he has earned that moniker nonetheless.

The Argentine was not in attendance at the gala on Monday night as Luka Modric beat out competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to claim the honour.

“Everyone will have their opinion [on The Best] and I’m no different, I have mine too,” Valverde told reporters.

“I don’t think it is time to compare players but for us, Leo is the best.

“I have nothing else to really say on the matter. Modric is a great player who has had a great year.

“Years ago, there weren’t as many awards or press but now, everything is magnified and there are many awards and many galas.

“Each one is a self-homage to the organiser about gathering football stars.

“That can lead to controversy but I attribute it to what I have mentioned already, that’s the situation we are in.

“This is a sport but it is becoming more and more of a business for everyone.”

The fact that Messi, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, opted against attending the ceremony was also not something that concerned the Blaugrana tactician.

“When you have a game coming up, you either have the freedom to accept the invitation or not,” he said.

“That is a question that shouldn’t be put to me though but to the players.”

After another controversial weekend incident involving VAR, Valverde also felt that it was important to clarify his own position on the system.

“Deep down, we all want the technology to help us in the game and make football fairer, especially in clearcut situations such as whether or not the ball crosses the line,” he explained.

“Right now, everything is being adjusted to and VAR certainly has some parts that I like more than most because it gives another insight into important questions.

“But there is another part in which I don’t think it is clear and I don’t quite know how to say it.

“Where do you decide where and when to do it? We were punished recently with a foul in midfield that was non-existent.

“I think that VAR can clear up controversy but I don’t think everything is clear yet.”