Ronald Koeman Once Again Praised Messi

Ronald Koeman, in a segment of the interview with ‘L’Esportiu” and ‘Sport’, was full of praise for Leo Messi. He said he is “the best” and “committed to the club”. The Dutchman also spoke about Griezmann, Ansu Fati’s absence…

In just over a week’s time, it will be three months since Koeman took over as Barca coach. The Dutchman gave an interview toΒ  ‘L’Esportiu” and ‘Sport’ and this Tuesday, part of the interview came to light. He talks about several topics.

The main man was about the Messi situation when he was about to leave last summer. This is what Ronald said about his chat with the ’10’.

“When I arrived, I was told that Messi wasn’t happy. We spoke in his house. He explained the reasons to me and I was sincere, I said to him that the only things I can change are the football related matters, the way of playing, his position on the pitch, his importance in the team. But I couldn’t change the issues he had with the club,” he said.

Several months after that conversation, Messi seems a different person. “He’s the best and he’s committed to the club. He’s had his issues, his problems this summer, but since he returned to training, he’s been very good. He’s been unlucky in some games and he’s not been able to offer the performances of before, but I’m sure come the end of the season he’ll have scored the same number of goals as before.”

That was not the only thing he said about the Barca star. “Messi has shown to me to be a person who wants to win things, be the best and keep on being the best even if he’s had his problems with the club. Barca were, are and are going to be a better team with Messi than without him,” Koeman explained.

On another issue, Koeman was sad about the injury to Ansu Fati. He will be out for four months after getting operated on the medial meniscus in his left knee: “We don’t have to sign someone because of this injury. We’d already spoken to Ramon Planes about it and they all knew which positions we had to strengthen. We were looking for a striker and a central defender and everything remains the same.”

“We have to get Griezmann back”

Griezmann was another of the players mentioned. The Frenchman is not performing. He has just two goals and one assist to his name this season and the Dutchman wants to get him back to his best. “We have to get him back. He’s working well, although he himself said not long ago that his performances have to improve.

The players can go through moments of doubt and we can help find his best form, but at the end of the day it’s always in the player’s hands,” Koeman continued.

On Koeman’s three months so far he said “it’s positive. We’ve been able to change the team’s image, we’ve made changes which have given the group another look to it. They are very involved, very committed. We’ve increased the intensity of our training sessions and we’ve had good matches. It’s true that we’ve dropped many points in La Liga in matches we could’ve have got a better result from. Refereeing decisions have affected the outcomes of some games.”

“We know that we have to improve things and we are working towards that. Now we have a break, but we are preparing for a very demanding schedule when the league resumes,” he added.

Lastly, the Dutchman sent a message to the players: “We’re at Barca to win, not to play not to lose. If we up the tempo with the ball, few teams can stop us, but if we drop the tempo, we also drop the intensity and we become a weak team defensively,” Koeman concluded.

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