Valverde pleased with Messi’s cameo in Barcelona return

first_imgLionel Messi has “done enough” in his return as Barcelona drew 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, insisted head coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury in Barca’s goalless draw away to Dortmund in their Group F opener on Tuesday. The Barca captain had been sidelined up until his second-half introduction against Dortmund, though Messi was a peripheral figure for the visitors.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “He’s like any player who hasn’t had a pre-season,” Valverde said. “He’s had to play in a game at an incredible pace, which had already started, all without preparation. “It’s his first 30 minutes. He’s done enough. It was also the first full game for Luis Suarez.” Barca had goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for securing a point after the German star saved Marco Reus’ second-half penalty. Ter Stegen thwarted Dortmund on more than one occasion in the second 45 minutes and Valverde hailed the Germany international. Borussia Dortmund Barcelona Ter Stegen Reus Champions League“In La Liga we were saying that opponents score against us,” Valverde added. “But tonight, he was very good. We have a great goalkeeper and we benefit from that.” And Valverde was not upset with the result considering the challenges his side were facing coming into the match and the quality of their opposition.  “The result is what it is,” he explained. “We suffered a lot and have to recognise that. “It’s something we knew would happen. It was a complicated game.” Ter Stegen was the hero of the day for the Spanish side, his save on Reus helping Barcelona to a hard-fought point.  And the German was pleased to be able to turn away his international team-mate to preserve the clean sheet.  “It’s hard to study, Reus always changes,” he said. “It was a feeling I had [going to his left] and I’m glad that I could save it” Barcelona return to the pitch Saturday to face Granada in La Liga, with the defending champions looking to climb back to the top of the table.  Valverde’s side sit fifth through four matches having picked up just seven points.last_img read more