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Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde defiant after terror attacks in city

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said his team are not afraid and cannot hide after Thursday's terror attacks in Catalonia.

The club will pay tribute to the victims of the incidents in Barcelona and Cambrils by wearing special shirts, black armbands and holding a minute's silence before they face Real Betis on Sunday at the Camp Nou as the Spanish season begins. 

Valverde says the best course of action is to continue with life as normal, showing the terrorists that the city of Barcelona is not cowed.

"We are calm, we are not afraid," Valverde told a news conference. "We have to do our best in the circumstances and the best way [to do that] is to continue forward. We are all potential victims, in the metro, in football. What we cannot do is hide.

"These are extraordinary and lamentable circumstances. Yesterday was a tough day, a different day for everyone.

"We show our solidarity with the victims. This puts things in perspective. We are with the people that suffered."

Ernesto Valverde takes charge of his first Barcelona league game on Sunday.

Barcelona are likely to be without captain Andres Iniesta after he missed training because of the thigh injury that also kept him out of the Spanish Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid on Wednesday, but Valverde confirmed Gerard Pique trained after suffering a groin problem in that game.

The coach also said Paulinho is not yet ready to start after signing for the club this week, the first player Barcelona have brought in after selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million.

Barcelona have been frustrated in their attempts to sign Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and Valverde implied dissatisfaction with the club's dealings.

"[I'd like to] have a squad that matches the demands made of us," said the coach. "I trust that everything will turn out well."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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