BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman in Champions mode. Positive, optimistic and confident in yours. This is how the Barcelona coach showed himself at the press conference prior to a match against PSG, which he stated from the outset “it will be very interesting” and ended up stating that “we can beat anyone”.
“I don’t see other teams much better than Barça … We have changed things, young people have come and we are on a good line. We have a great team, playing at a very high level and we still have fantastic players and we can beat anyone” proclaimed the Dutch coach, convinced of his team’s options.
“We are very excited to face the Champions League. It will be a tough tie because PSG has a very strong team, but we have improved in recent months and it will be very interesting.” revealed Koeman, who assured that he has never been inferior to the French team: “Since the draw I have thought that it is a close tie. We face it with great enthusiasm, confident of winning a strong team because we have improved lately.”
“All teams have strengths and weaknesses and what we hope is to be able to take advantage of PSG’s defects,” said Koeman, who accepted that Neymar’s dismissal “is important, because he or Di María are very important to them like Ansu, Araujo or Coutinho for us … The calendar punishes the freshness of all the teams a lot and we have to be prepared. “
“I don’t know what PSG I expect, we have to see how they come … It’s a two-game tie and if you play the first game away from home the important thing is to get a result, try to score … I think this is their thinking. But PSG is a team that wants to dominate. and we like to have the ball and from there play and create opportunities to score “explained the coach, who revealed, for once, that keeping a clean sheet” is very important in the game in the morning”.
“I fear nothing because I trust my players although we respect the contrary a lot because their history of the last years in Championns is there,” said Koeman, who did not venture how PSG can respond to Neymar’s absence. “You never know in a team that lacks a player like Neymar what his reaction will be. But both teams have significant casualties,” he repeated, highlighting the importance of “protecting this type of player, like him, Messi, Cristiano … They make us enjoy their quality and the referees
they must defend them. They should also know when to play one on one because soccer is a contact sport but they must defend themselves. “
WAITING FOR PIQUÉ
“Piqué is fine. He has been training with the group for four or five days, we have good feelings with his physique and I have one more day to decide if he is on the list because he has been out for a while. We will talk about it and decide tomorrow”, said the Barça coach. referring to Piqué, who could be the big news after making it clear that Araújo “has not trained and will not arrive at the game tomorrow.”
“Any defense can play. These defenders have played very good games, they have had their mistakes, which is part of football, and I have no doubt that our boys will know how to defend a strong team like PSG. It will be a tactical match where we will think about where we can. dominate and what we need in defense to stop his quality up “he revealed, making it clear that he will not decide a special marking on Mbappé.
“I have never been in favor of putting someone with a marking only for a rival player and we are not going to do it now. We know where we can play and where we have free people. When we have the ball we must be well organized for when we lose it. That will be a determining aspect for the game “he declared, while rejecting that the duel is a face to face between Messi and the young French forward.
“It is not a duel between Messi and Mbappé, it is a duel of two teams that Messi plays on one side, the best in the world and whom we need in his best form to win the tie, and almost the same thing happens to PSG with Mbappé. He is a very fast player who can make things very difficult for us. It will be a beautiful game and these players are to be enjoyed as a fan. ” sentenced.
“Tactically we have to be prepared and know that the speed above Mbappé must be controlled” acknowledged Koeman, who, in any case, rejected that he is before a first level exam and recalled that in the past his team “has played good games, even losing, because we have had opportunities to score “.
“It seems that every three days we have to take an exam and it is not like that. In all the games that we have lost we have had chances to score and the final result has not been ours and they are things that can happen. It happened to us against Real Madrid, Atlético, Sevilla … You have lost but if you see it you have had your chances “he proclaimed.