Match 29
Game Details
South Korea
Match 28
Game Details
3:00 PM UTC
Match 27
Game Details
12:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 30
Game Details
3:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 32
Game Details
6:00 PM UTC Jun 24, 2018
Match 31
Game Details


2017/2018 Season

1 Barcelona 28 9 1 93
2 Atletico 23 10 5 79
3 Real Madrid 22 10 6 76
View Full Table »

Ernesto Valverde's new ideas are improving Barcelona - ter Stegen

The FC crew agree Barcelona are still in control in La Liga after fighting back for a draw against Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona are getting better and better because of the new approaches brought to the club by coach Ernesto Valverde, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen says.

Former Athletic Bilbao boss Valverde replaced Luis Enrique at the start of the summer and has overseen a 10-game unbeaten run since the Spanish Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid in August.

Barca have dropped points just once in La Liga -- Saturday's 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid -- and have won both of their Champions League games going into Wednesday's match against Olympiakos.

"Our manager has a different point of view and we have to support him," ter Stegen said in an interview with UEFA. "We have to assure him that we understand his concepts because he has new, different ideas.

"He's also introducing more options to our game, which makes you become an even better player because you're learning new things. Our job is to put these changes into action and I have to say that we've done quite well until now."

Ter Stegen has made a particularly impressive start to the season and could be singled out as one of the Barca players who has improved the most.

Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is enjoying life at Barcelona.

In 10 La Liga and Champions League appearances, he has conceded just three goals, and made two impressive saves to keep Antoine Griezmann out against Atletico.

"I'm a more mature person now," he said as he reflected on how he has changed since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014. "A lot of things have happened in these three years. Now I am beginning my fourth season here, where I have been incredibly happy until now and I am happy to continue my career here because it is what I want to do."

It is not so clear whether midfielder Rafinha will continue his career at Barcelona, though.

The Brazil international has been out of action with a meniscus problem in his knee since April and had to undergo a second operation earlier this month.

However, despite a constant raft of rumours that he could leave the club, Rafinha's father says there are no plans to depart the Camp Nou in the immediate future.

"The most important thing is that [Rafinha] is OK," he told Radio Marca. "Our concern is that he recovers and can get back onto a football pitch.

"We've not spoken with anyone [about a transfer] because it's difficult to negotiate with other clubs when a player is injured -- plus, we don't have any interest either because we have a contract with Barca."

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


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.