Football coach Ramón Català, currently involved in Dynamo Kiev's youth academy, is one of the coaches who knows Ernesto Valverde the best. He was the fitness coach at Espanyol and since then, despite embarking on different routes, they've kept in contact.
In an interview with Esports Cope, Catala explained how Valverde deals with tough moments, the criticism of his style of football and how he felt at the end of last season. "Valverde's time at Barça has been tough. I spoke with him last year and he was going through a hard time. From the beginning the topic of identity was difficult and now he's being questioned again and is suffering because of that. Honestly, he's such a relaxed man but I also see him a little worried."
Catala, who has more than 20 years of coaching experience, has worked alongside the likes of Pochettino, Laudrup, Esnaider and even Johan Cruyff, isn't exactly happy with Barça's preseason plans either. "Barça's preseason has been complicated. I believe it's more about marketing and less about the sporting side each time. The team is finding it tough against sides who are fitter. You noticed this in Bilbao because it's very difficult, despite the players he has, to form a team/"