Koeman: “Messi is painful, but we cannot live from the past”

The FC Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman, has assured that Leo Messi’s departure is “painful” for all Barça fans, but that they cannot “live from the past” and that they must focus on fighting for LaLiga Santander, ensuring that the League Champions “is another thing”, in addition to revealing that “if the ‘fair play’ allows it” they could sign a striker.

“It is painful for all the Catalans for everything they have done for this club, for the player that he is … You don’t have to live off the past, people change teams, there is a future for young people. Hopefully we will have the enthusiasm of the players. culés “, declared in press conference. “There has been a lot of talk about Leo Messi, but he is normal, he is the best player in the world,” he added.

In this sense, he recalled that, despite everything, there is “a very strong squad” and that they will soon “recover injured players.” “We have a very strong squad to achieve important things. Starting tomorrow there are no excuses. The team is prepared, we have had a good preseason. You have to play, demonstrate and have the attitude to go forward. I am convinced that people will enjoy this team, “he said about the aspirations in LaLiga Santander.

However, he recognized that “the ‘Champions’ is something else.” “We have to think more about the league itself; we are a strong team, we can aspire to the maximum. The ‘Champions’ is something else, there are teams that have won it and that did not have the best players in the world, but they have shown that they are strong as a team. You have to gain confidence, and that is why the league principle is important, “he warned.

As for the registration of new players such as Memphis Depay and Eric García, he revealed the financial effort made by the heavyweights of the squad. “We are perfectly aware of the financial situation of the club. The club needs help in every way. We must highlight the attitude of Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. They want to help the club to improve its economic situation and that. It shows that they are people of the house, “he said, without wanting to get into why other players have not agreed to cut their salary. “It is a matter of the club. Our president has to command in that sense,” he pointed out.

The Dutch coach also acknowledged that it would be necessary to sign a forward. “Looking at all the positions of the team, we lack people at the top: Agüero, Dembélé, Ansu, Coutinho … They are quality players. We are talking about being able to sign a forward, it suits us, but it all depends on whether we can sign. play ‘allows it, we still sign someone up, “he explained.

In a different vein, he revealed that Pedri “has returned with great enthusiasm” after playing the Eurocup and the Olympic Games. “He and Eric García have had a good Olympiad. They have their head in Barça and they are good to play,” he said, before talking about Depay. “I expect a lot from Memphis, he has been a fantastic player in the national team. He is a strong forward, fast. We have lost a lot of effectiveness without Leo, and we ask for more from everyone, also from the midfielders,” he analyzed.

Also, he talked about his relationship with Griezmann. “I love working with Antoine, he always helps when we don’t have the ball. He is very happy, he gives a lot of encouragement to others. He has to take another step, it will be more important. In Messi’s position he will have much more freedom, it can be an advantage for him, “he said.

The culé coach also assured that Frenkie de Jong will be there for the LaLiga debut, and that Ansu Fati could be ready for after the national team break. “Frenkie has participated without problems and if nothing happens, he will be available. Ansu has taken many steps forward and, if everything goes well, he will be training with the group in two or three weeks. Playing, after the break,” he ventured.

Lastly, Koeman played down the fact that the partners have not requested all the tickets available for the team’s league premiere. “I don’t think it’s a matter of people not being involved with the club. A lot of them are away, on vacation. Those who come will help us,” he said. “We are going to have 22,000 fans in the field and it is the best. We know the quality of Real, last year we played interesting games,” he concluded.

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