​Former ​Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has backed ​Real Madrid to lift the La Liga trophy this season. Valverde won the ​La Liga in both of his full seasons in charge of the Catalan giants and the team were top of the league when he was dismissed from his position last month.

Though the Blaugrana have lifted eight of the last 11 league trophies, they have looked shaky under new boss Quique Setién while Los Blancos have won their last five La Liga contests.

Madrid have not lifted the league title since 2017, but Valverde believes this can be the year Zinedine Zidane’s men get one up on their fiercest rivals.

“Madrid are strong and very focused on the league title,” Valverde responded when asked who he thought were favourites to win La Liga this season, as cited by ​Cadena Cope.

“I have tried to distance from everything that has happened, and this month the only match I have watched is Athletic Club against Barcelona.” 

The former Athletic Bilbao man also opened up on his time at the helm of Barcelona for two years. 

“I was incredibly fortunate to coach Barcelona. I know what it means to coach there and I am delighted to have been there. When you sign the contract, you know that you depend on results and that the coach is always responsible.”

The 56-year-old is yet to decide on his next move, but hinted at going out to find a ‘new experience’.

Madrid currently have a three-point lead over Barcelona in La Liga with 15 games remaining.


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