Valencia CF24 May 2024

Baraja: “We will try to finish the season with a win”


The coach talks about the game against RC CeltaVigo

Valencia CF coach Rubén Baraja spoke ahead of his side’s game against Celta Vigo on LaLiga Matchday 38.   

Evaluating the season

“It is difficult to give a mark, but we must analyse things from a calm perspective, bearing in mind what we had set as an initial objective and what we have been achieving -not only for the present but also for the future- in terms of the team. There are very positive things: The first and most fundamental thing is that we met the objective that was set at the beginning of the season.

We thought that we had to send out a coherent message with a reasonable objective and we have achieved it; Then there is a part that is also important, in terms of the tactical and technical level of the team, which is that the team have been growing with our own identity in terms of what we want, seek and represent. 

There has been individual and collective growth for the players, all of them. They have been improving, and so have I. In this growing process, it is always positive to achieve your aims and something that has been fundamental and that has helped us a lot during the year has been the affection shown by Mestalla, the boost that our fans give us, the understanding, affection and respect with which they have treated our young players and helped us grow. That, together with their level of demand, makes us all better.”

The 2024/25 preseason

“There is still quite a way to go for that. We must look for practical things that give us the possibility of working well. I don't think we will find facilities like ours and a climate like this anywhere else in Europe. The possibility exists to work here and then travel to play the games that interest us or that might be scheduled. I don't like talking about these things when there is still a game to be played, and I prefer to concentrate on the three points that are up for grabs in tomorrow's game and, above all, to try to finish the season as best as possible. If we can win, then great, and the higher up we are, the better. We are going to have the attention that we must have in the match, concentrate on this and try to do things well in the final game."

Loaning out young players

“We always try to make decisions looking for the best for each player and their career. César Tarrega's case was a very good opportunity for him as if he was not yet consolidated with the first team, he could take another step up and we could look at his work in this intermediate move -so that later he could return with much more experience, confidence, more complete. I think it was a good decision for Valencia CF, for him and the player's future.”

Wishes for next season

“For now, we want to finish well and try to win the game against RC Celta de Vigo. It's going to be a tough match. This season has helped us learn things that we didn't know last season, because there was more uncertainty then. The peace of mind of having achieved the objective before time gives you the possibility of looking at the future in a different way, and the foundations for the future will be laid when the time comes and after analysis, looking at the possibilities we have at our disposal. We’ll look at the budget, the objective and the economic possibilities, and try to do the best we can. The most important thing is that each person puts in the maximum enthusiasm, work and will to improve.”

David Otorbi

“He is at a point in which his growth is huge. This year, he even made his debut with the first team in the Copa del Rey. He has to learn, work, play a lot of games and make a lot of mistakes. We will try to ensure that when he is with us he can learn. He has to worry about playing and learning about the game. He is a kid. He has potential and we are going to follow him very closely.”

Rotations against RC Celta Vigo

“The idea is to field the team that we consider most competitive. Rivero is prepared to participate. We will look at that. There is still a training session tomorrow in which to look at the possibilities we have. What is evident is that we are going to try to go there to do well and compete, and Cristian is one of the options


“There are situations that we can’t know yet. There is a transfer market ahead. It is evident that the ambition, and what I try to transmit to the club, which I took onboard in my sporting career, is that we want to improve and go further. This is something that we have within us and I try to transmit it to the club, but there are certain things that aren’t down to me. I worry about getting the most out of the squad I have, and many times it depends on economic balance, budgets, and the transfer market. But we do have to be confident that by working we can improve. We have already made a little bit of progress. We have been building during this season: An identity, competing… Now it is important that all of that gets given continuity, which we would like. These are things that remain to be defined because there are things that cannot be assessed at this time. We will talk about them from now on.”

The second term and the final stretch of the season

“The numbers are there to see, and I can't argue with them. That's why when we started the season our objective was to stay up; so if we have the fifteenth best results from the second half of the season, last year we were was seventeenth. They are all evaluations and reflections. We are self-critical and our idea is to work hard and try to improve. We will try our best. I can't promise the moon, but I will promise to work to achieve the best possible."

The transfer market

“There is a substantial difference compared to last season and it is in terms of uncertainty. Last season was very uncertain, there was the possibility of us being relegated, with a different budget situation. This year, the advantage is that we already know what to expect, the budget range, the possibilities, the range of economic improvement. That always gives you a clear starting point. Now, we have to work a lot, try to strengthen the team as much as possible within our possibilities, and provide all the work, enthusiasm and drive for next season. We don't have certain things defined yet."


“There is one thing that is very important and that everyone should know: For Valencia CF to sell a player, or for a player to leave, there has to be an offer. An offer that is accepted by Valencia CF, and the player also wants to move to that other team. Circumstances have to occur that have not yet occurred. Neither in the case of Mamardashvili nor Javi Guerra. 

When there are bids, then we can say whether it could happen or not, and Valencia CF have a decision to make. If not, then it gives the feeling that everyone can leave Valencia CF, that this squad is going to be dismantled, and we cannot allow this. 

If, for whatever reason, the club decides to sell a player, it is down to us. It’s what any team in the world does because there are players that you see at one club, another comes along that want that player, they pay and the player leaves.

 All teams sell players. The important thing is that an agreement is reached and the player wants to go. Those situations have not yet occurred. We are talking about hypotheses that have not come about. We cannot give the feeling that anything goes. 

There are contracts and Valencia CF will sell players if necessary, not just for the sake of it. Valencia CF players have great value, the increase in the team's assets is amazing compared to last year, we have young players with a fantastic future, with great economic value, and we also want that valuation to be there when there is a sale.”

Growth and ambition

"At the end of the day, what every coach wants is continuity and stability; that, as much as possible, you have continuity in your squad, in your important players, that in the positions where we can improve, we try to improve. We want to excite our fans, who know that we are on a journey through the desert in terms of the history of Valencia CF. They also want to have the feeling that their team and their club, despite the fact that they have financial difficulties, are seeking to improve. Nothing guarantees that we will improve on the season we had this year. This is the reality, but we do have to value certain things that are important: Continuity, believing in an idea, having an identity as a team and then continuing to think that we can improve, and then working hard.”

Continuity in the squad

“It is something that does not depend on me, nor can I control it. There are some economic parameters that the club set and designate, like any other club. There are teams that start out in the Champions League and finish 10th, so they can no longer have the same budget. You have to adjust to this. What I would like is to try to have continuity, with tweaks, always trying to think about what can help us be better. That would be the best news. As much as possible, we want to maintain the block of players from this season, because, in the end, it is like adding more things to the team. We already have a lot of work done that we have been able to do this year, and the more of these players that are here next season, the easier it will be to incorporate those who might come in so that they can get into that dynamic.”  

Meetings with the board

“We are waiting for the season to end and then we will make an assessment, we will talk and I will convey my opinions about what I would like and what I want -and also the club will tell me the situation and what is going to be the way forward. Without a doubt, we will talk. The season ends on Sunday, I imagine that next week we will have the opportunity to get together and evaluate all these types of things.”  

Positions to strengthen

“It will depend on the departures we might have. I can't say whether we need this or that position. We have to try to put together a squad and that is what we are going to work on. The positions, many times, are dictated by the market. You have to be patient.”

A contract renewal

“I have always said what I think. I feel happy here, I am at home, fulfilling a dream and enjoying the possibility of growing with this team. I still have a lot to on to improve and grow. I am at a time when all of this is important to me: Working, learning, being able to manage all these types of situations, and I am in the best place for that: At Valencia CF, in a great club, in a fantastic place. Like every coach, what you want is continuity and to be able to ensure that your idea or playing style endures over time, and achieve something that we all want, which is to mark a moment or an era -or for people to value our work".

The possible signing of Stole Dimitrievski

“I am not going to talk about players who are not at Valencia CF. I can't say anything about this matter."

Motivating the players for the last match

“Every game you play with the Valencia CF shirt has value, regardless of the situation you are in. We will try to field the players who are going to give us that extra energy and motivation, which can lead us to have a competitive game. Always, in every match, even friendlies, a Valencia CF player has to know that he needs to give his best and represent the values of the club, with hard work and effort. That good attitude and desire always have to be there.”

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