Messi excited by Valverde reviews

Messi and Barcelona teammates

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

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.

Since the end of last season, Messi has turned 30, married long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo and agreed to sign a new contract. He 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.”