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Valverde must build robust midfield, get Messi on his side for Barca success

Sid Lowe says Barcelona are in safe hands with Ernesto Valverde, even if he is not the most exciting managerial hire.
With Ernesto Valverde's confirmation as the coach of Barcelona, Steve Nicol looks at his safe, if lacklustre, approach.
The FC crew mull over who Ernesto Valverde might target in the transfer market now that he is Barcelona's next manager.
Former Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera is now linked with a possible move to Barca after Ernesto Valverde's appointment.

After Ernesto Valverde was named Barcelona's coach for the next two seasons, ESPN FC looks at the five big issues the new boss needs to address to make sure his tenure is a success.

1. Build foundations in midfield

Barcelona's domination of the past decade was based on the supremacy of their midfield, with Xavi Hernandez the puppet master of a side that would utterly dominate opponents in the middle of the pitch, starving them of possession and crafting out chance after chance. Slowly, as Xavi and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi's Golden Shoe term tops season-ending Player Power Rankings

Steve Nicol evaluates the final player power rankings, which take into account total votes during the 2016-17 season.

Every Monday throughout the season, ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominated their top performers from the weekend's action, and the results were collated into a top 10. We tallied the votes from throughout the campaign to bring you the best of 2016-17.

Season-end Player Power Rankings graphic
No one gathered more votes in our Player Power Rankings votes this season that Lionel Messi.

Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting below or on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.