BARCELONA – Lionel Messi, actively and passively, was the main protagonist in Ronald Koeman’s press conference, in the day before the game against Real Betis, whose name tiptoed in his appearance before the media.
The performance of the Barcelona captain, his decline, his images walking … Koeman sentenced him without hesitation. “Messi continues to be decisive for Barcelona … He has, continues to have, a lot of quality and he has shown it because he is a player who makes a difference,” he specified.
“Today there are images of anyone … They also take mine when I’m sitting or pissed off and it seems that we will have to be more aware of the images than of our own work,” lamented the Dutch coach when asked about the images that were they saw Messi walking across the pitch in the final moments of the match against Dynamo Kiev.
“Leo is a great player. I have always said it and I say it again. I see him well, emotionally strong and happy, enjoying his sport. He is a winner and like everyone goes through more complicated moments due to certain things, but he is very involved in the issue, “he resolved, explaining that” we want to put him on the field where we can hurt the rival. It is important especially in attack. He has already played in various positions, as a false 9 or as a winger on the inside and always creates problems on the contrary. “
Asked again about his image walking, Koeman declared that it is a subject “that does not concern me … If they want to mount a controversy with that, I do not care because any player can take an image when he is walking, so I It matters because I know my opinions about her attitude and it’s very good. “
Regarding the moment of the Barça team, having added only two points from the last twelve in the League, the coach acknowledged that a club like Barça “has to be at the top because if you are not there there are criticisms and I assume them, but we must not obsess because the season is very long and you have to work match by match. You have to win, but here that does not guarantee tranquility because a lot of things always happen at this club and we must be prepared for everything. “
On the day that marks the 19th anniversary of Bakero’s goal in Kaiserslautern, Koeman rejected that the current squad lacks the character and commitment that the Dream Team had, ensuring that “now the players are different but they are still winners and with character. As in our time they are committed and get pissed off if things don’t go well. The team is keen … And if they weren’t, it would mean that my work doesn’t work. “
The Barça coach was reminded of the unkind words that Joaquín dedicated to him, whom he had at his command at Valencia and with whom he will meet again this Saturday at the Camp Nou. His reaction was one of absolute coldness. “I understand that it is an interesting subject for you but I do not care about anything. If that person speaks, it is his problem because I am involved in the game and not thinking about things that happened many years ago,” he cut.
Noting that he will have Samuel Umtiti “when he is working normally with the squad”, Koeman stressed that Ter Stegen “showed his quality the other day, playing in several one on one” to argue his return to ownership, although clarifying that ” We never wanted to force him and that is why we are happy with Neto … taking away the goal from Alavés. “