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HomeMLSErnesto Valverde compares Messi to NBA legend Michael Jordan

Ernesto Valverde compares Messi to NBA legend Michael Jordan

Former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has compared Lionel Messi to NBA legend Michael Jordan as the Argentinian has embarked on a new venture in the MLS.

In a recent interview with Relevo, Ernesto Valverde, the former Barcelona boss who now manages Athletic Club, compared coaching Lionel Messi and what it would have been like to coach NBA legend Michael Jordan. He was asked if managing a legendary player like Messi was “challenging.”

“No”, Valverde replied. “In the end, look, when you go to a club like that it’s easier if you assume who you’re going to work with. It’s true that you have to take into account who is who. Messi is a player that you know is going to give you everything.”

Valverde further likened managing Messi to coaching NBA legend Jordan. He explained that, similar to Jordan’s role with the Chicago Bulls, Messi had immense responsibilities at Barcelona, making it relatively straightforward for a coach to motivate him.

“In the end, they are players who are capable of assuming that leadership, they are different,” he added.

Valverde served as Barcelona’s head coach for two and a half seasons from 2017 to 2020, during which he led the team to two La Liga titles.

Nevertheless, he failed to win the hearts of Barcelona fans fully, and there were rumors suggesting that not all of the club’s star players had a strong rapport with him.

Messi has had a fantastic beginning to his tenure with Inter Miami. However, he missed his third consecutive match on Saturday due to a leg injury. Despite his absence, Miami managed to secure a 1-1 draw against New York City FC, although it dealt a blow to their MLS playoff aspirations.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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