Barcelona star Messi excited by Valverde reviews

Ernesto Valverde's reputation is encouraging Lionel Messi, with the start of Barcelona's pre-season campaign only a week away.

Barcelona players at a Rakuten event. CREDIT: Twitter @FCBarcelona   -  Twitter @FCBarcelona

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

Valverde has replaced Luis Enrique as head coach at Camp Nou, with Barca's pre-season campaign set to get under way next week's against Juventus in New Jersey.

Messi, who has turned 30, married long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo and agreed to sign a new contract since the end of last season, hopes the impressive reputation of the former Athletic Bilbao boss will prove to be true as his attention moves to 2017-18.

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

"I don't know what kind of manager he is, but he is a great person. 

"He was with Valencia and Bilbao, we are hearing a lot about his very good reputation, so we are pinning our hopes on this new beginning.

"Whenever I start a new season there is a very clear-cut goal, which is that Barcelona will do our best.

"Personally I am very happy and looking forward to starting a new season. We have new coaches and assistants. I would like to work with them and enjoy Barcelona for another year."

Neymar was also at the event, along with Gerard Pique and Arda Turan, the Brazil international batting away a question about whether he would score more goals than Messi in 2017-18.

"The objective is always to win and to work together to do that, whether or not I score a goal, because we are a team," he said.

"If I can score goals of course I will be happy, but if Pique, Messi and all the other players score, that is just as good. If we can win as a team I would be so happy."

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