The arrival of Ronald Koeman To Barcelona he brought a lot to talk about the different situations that were uncovering within the squad and one of his tasks in those first days as Barcelona coach was to talk with Lionel Messi, who had expressed his desire to leave the club after the Blaugrana cast decided not to have Luis Suárez, his great partner.
In an interview with the Dutch newspaper AD, the Barça technical director gave details of one of the first talks he had with the Rosario star and stated that “In my early days I spoke a lot with people about the situation at the club, and it was clear that there was great discontent among the players, therefore it was a priority for me to speak with Messi first, to hear how he saw things”.
The former coach of the Netherlands team made reference to the negotiation that La Pulga had to leave the club and pointed out that “at home he told me all kinds of things. I listened to that carefully, but I also stated, ‘I wasn’t there at all.’ I could only talk about how I wanted to work and how I wanted to change things at the club ”.
After those words, Koeman added that “that was good, because at the end of the conversation we talked about the best ways to push, about the game, really about football. I liked that: he’s a fan and he still wants to know how it goes.
On the other hand, he returned to the week where Messi was very close to leaving and remarked that “for me the main question was how I would recover him, on the field and beyond, as a person and as a soccer player. When he started training after that hectic week, I only saw good things. Regarding his attitude, there was and is nothing to complain about. And when Messi sees a ball, he has fun ”.
When it came to talking about Messi footballer, the Dutchman was full of praise for the Argentine and stressed that “it is really fantastic how he sees things. How smart he is as a soccer player and how he does it technically perfectly. So he really makes a decision with the ball at the last moment, in a split second. “
He also detailed an attitude of Messi in practices and stated that “when we do a pass and kick exercise during training sessions, Alfred Schreuder (Koeman’s assistant) gives instructions half in Spanish, half in English. Sometimes I clarify a little in Spanish, but with Messi that is not necessary at all. Immediately go through the exercises. He is very intelligent in football ”.