BARCELONA – Pedri will participate in the Tokyo Olympics. And although, summoned by the Spanish Soccer Federation, the player himself already showed his absolute predisposition to take part in the tournament, in Barcelona there is an undeniable concern and annoyance about it.
And becoming the spokesperson for a cause that is known to be lost, Ronald Koeman did not beat around the bush by showing his position. “It’s too much”, revealed the Dutch coach, taking into account that the Canarian footballer has already completed a beastly season, being the most used player at Barça and adding to that his participation in the European Championship.
“For me, an Olympiad is more athletics than football; for me, football is a World Cup and a European Championship” explained Koeman, noting that it was a “personal appreciation” and showing himself in favor of the club protecting its players: ” I say it on a personal level. I understand the illusion that the players have, but the schedules are very complicated and all the footballers must be protected “.
“For a player it is too much to do two competitions at the highest level in the summer. Pedri has been in a season in which he has played almost everything and has also played every minute in the Eurocup. Having four days of partying and traveling to Japan to play is not It’s good ”, reiterated the Barça coach, who will have to face the start of the League with a particularly diminished squad.
In fact, Pedri will not be the only player that he will not be able to count on due to his participation in the Olympic Games, where Oscar Mingueza and Eric García will also be present. “We will start the season and we will have to win waiting to see when they arrive,” said Koeman, who counting on a happy ending regarding the continuity of Lionel Messi is already assuming that he will debut in the League, on August 14 against Real Sociedad , with seven casualties from the current roster of squad players: the injured Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembélé and the Olympians Mingueza, Èric García and Pedri.
And all this hoping that Barcelona will sentence the departure of at least three other players, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite and Miralem Pjanic, to face, if there are no more additions, that competition debut with a roster of 18 players. As long as Neto, another named despite the manager’s reluctance, remains at the club.