Guardiola Believes Barcelona Aren't the Underdogs
The current boss of Manchester City is no stranger to Barcelona football, having won two Champions League titles with the team. He's praised the team's recent decision to appoint Valverde as manager, noting his likable qualities as both a friend and coach. Although Pep hasn't explicitly stated that he'll be betting on Barcelona, he does believe that they are the stronger team.
It will be interesting to see how the remarks of these two famous footballers influence bet makers looking for betting offers for next season. Since the majority will probably be betting in favour of the current champions, those betting on Barcelona stand to win big.
The current odds for them to win outright are 5/1 with both Sky Bet and William Hill, which is definitely worth a punt when you consider the class of the team. With Guardiola reminding everyone that Barcelona “always bounce back,” these odds could easily change depending on how good of a season they have leading up to the championship.
Koeman Compares Real Madrid to Previous Barcelona Team
Despite Madrid winning the Champions League for the third time in four seasons after defeating Juventus 4-1 on Saturday, Koeman doesn't seem impressed with the club in comparison to the dominant Barcelona squad of 2008-2012, saying that he doesn't believe they can be “compared with the Barcelona of Pep.” Nonetheless, Ronald complimented Real Madrid for their spectacular second half against Juventus in the final.
Koeman called Madrid a great team, but has also been clear about the fact they aren't quite on the level that Barcelona reached during the stretch in which they defeated Manchester United twice to bring home two titles. On paper, Madrid has already surpassed that milestone, having won 3 out of the past 4, but Ronald seems to think that talent-wise they aren't quite as good.
Turan Staying in Barcelona
Many fans have been concerned about Arda Turan making a move to the Chinese Super League, which could compromise the team's depth during crucial matches. However, contrary to the popular rumour that he's been close to closing a deal with Arsenal, an agent has said that he'll be staying in Barcelona until the end of his contract in 2020.
With Arda staying on the team it's even more likely that they could be getting ready for a great comeback season. Inside sources have confirmed that the club hasn't even been considering a transfer, and that such reports are coming out of the sensationalist media and sheer speculation. The 30-year old attacking midfielder from Turkey recently made waves when he allegedly got in an altercation with a journalist on a flight.
Valverde Wants to Win 'Everything'
What do you set your sights on when you're the new manager of a team with high expectations? Well, if that team is Barcelona and you're Valverde then your goal would have to be to win “everything.” That's right, not just the Champions League, but everything else as well. Such an aspiration is admirable if not fanciful, but it's that kind of ambition and drive that led FC Barcelona to choosing him as the right man for the job. With that said, we'll be watching closely to see if he can make the right moves to deliver on his promise.