Messi excited to work under Valverde

Luis Suarez undergoes his pre-season medical as Barcelona's stars return from summer break

Luis Suarez undergoes his pre-season medical as Barcelona's stars return from summer break

Lionel Messi is excited to play under Ernesto Valverde, revealing he has heard hugely positive reviews about the new Barcelona boss.

Valverde starts work at the Camp Nou after four successful seasons with Athletic Club Bilbao, but looks to have a hard task on his hands as he replaces Luis Enrique in the Barca hot-seat.

"With the new manager everything will be new", Messi said in Tokyo at a commercial event for new sponsors Rakuten.

"We're all starting from zero again, with a new coach whose way of working we don't yet know, but we do know that he's a great manager because of what he's done with his other teams. We are hearing a lot about his very good reputation". "As long as the team wins I'm happy". "We have new coaches. and I want to work with them and enjoy FC Barcelona for one more year", the newlywed Argentine striker said.

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani took to the stage with Messi and his teammates Neymar, Gerard Pique and Arda Turan, to show off the new jersey the players will be wearing next season.

It's not the first time that speculation in the media has suggested that key Barcelona players are influential in advising the club which transfer targets to pursue, and it certainly won't be the last.

The Argentina global has enjoyed an extended break after getting married and he admits that he is looking forward to learning how Valverde works.

"When we face we try to defend our colours and when we go with the Spanish national team we fight together".

Valverde, a Barcelona player in the late 1980s, has also managed Villarreal, Valencia and Barcelona's city rival Espanyol, as well as Greek club Olympiacos.

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