After a 3-1 win against Valencia in which Agüero made his debut, the Argentine and Ronald Koeman answered questions before Wednesday’s Champions League game against Dynamo Kyiv.
FC Barcelona played Valencia on Sunday at the Camp Nou. This was the first game after the international break, and Barça showed character by beating Valencia 3-1 after initially being down 0-1. Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho all scored, while Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero made his long-awaited official Barça debut. In the 87th minute of the game, the legendary Argentinian striker replaced Sergiño Dest, who Koeman decided to play on the right wing.
Dynamo Kyiv is the next hurdle in the UEFA Champions League. Barça has had a bad start to the group stage, losing 3-0 to both Bayern Munich and Benfica. A win is very much needed, and Dynamo Kyiv looks to be the easiest opponent to beat in the group. Barça currently sits last in the group, but two wins against Kyiv and two Bayern Munich wins against Benfica could change the situation.
As usual, the team news was released before the start of the press conference. Eric García will miss out due to his suspension, and Pedri, Braithwaite, Dembélé and Araújo are all injured. Sergio Agüero was the first to appear in front of the press.
About his debut:
“I was very happy to make my first few minutes and it was a great night because we won the game.”
“I’m always used to playing against Barça. The stadium imposes a lot. Now that I’m here, I enjoy it and all I cared about was that the team won and if I could play for a few minutes, I would enjoy it. I’m very grateful for the love and now it’s my turn to show something for the affection they showed me in the stadium.”
About the situation in the Champions League:
“We have to win regardless and if we don’t, we’re almost out. We’re confident. With the support of the fans, tomorrow they’ll help us to win the three points we need.”
About his goals in Barcelona:
“I never set goals for myself. I was always used to being the second striker. At Manchester City, I was more of a number 9 than a second striker and I never set goals for myself except for finishing the season in the best way possible. If that means scoring a lot of goals, even better. The goal is to be good all season, to score goals if I can and win a title.”
About celebrating his first goal:
“I have nothing in mind. The goal is going to come by itself. In my experience, the more you think about the goal, the worse it is. I just think about giving my best and winning.”
About his friend Leo Messi leaving the club, the number 10 shirt and Ansu Fati:
“It’s in the past. We were all surprised by it and I prefer to think about the present. He’s enjoying himself and as a friend I want him to do as well as he always did.”
“It was a decision I took when I signed because I wore 19 at the under-20 World Cup in the Netherlands and I also wore it for the national team. Leo had 10 but when Piqué and more people from the club told me about the possibility of wearing number 10, I had already asked for 19. Also, the number 10 looks very good on Ansu and I’m very happy because he has returned so well from his injury. He’s a special talent and I must thank him for being with us.”
“He (Ansu Fati) is young, you have to help him to continue growing. Today, it’s difficult to stay at a high level. We’re here to help him and to try to make him as comfortable as possible. Everyone sees him in training. He’s one of those talents that doesn’t appear often and we have to take advantage of him because he’s with us.”
About being a starter or being on the bench:
“I try to train well and it’s the coach’s decision. When you do things right, you have more chances of being a starter. There are very good players here and you have to respect them. You can win your place by being physically well and performing well in games.”
When Agüero was done answering questions, it was head coach Ronald Koeman‘s turn to face the press.
About the game against Dynamo Kyiv:
“It’s true that we played them last year and today, they’re a better team than a year ago. We obviously know what to expect. It’s true that our future in this Champions League is at risk. Because we lost two games, we have to win and there’s no other option.”
“The game is decisive. We have to win to make it out of the group. There is no other choice but to win. We know what we have to do and it’s the only possibility if we want to make it through this phase of the Champions League.”
“We have to start the game like any game in which we try to be well prepared. We analyze the rival, put the best possible team together knowing the situation of the players. Eric (García) is suspended and the rest is qualified to win.”
About the pressure of the Champions League:
“Well, we can compete but you can’t demand winning the Champions League when you compare us to other teams, which are stronger. We try to reach their level, with new and young players. The injured players are not yet at their best but they are doing well. We have a team to compete and to get through in this group stage.”
“Yes, we have experienced players who should be an example in these games and we also have young players, who have shown that they can endure the pressure of playing for Barça. They have played games against Madrid and other important teams, with the little experience they have. They have shown that they’re prepared. They have also played with their national teams. It’s not like they have no experience for tomorrow.”
“We always depend on the circumstances of the team and it’s not normal to expect reaching the semis or quarters. What you have to demand is to win tomorrow. It’s the first step, I don’t care about anything else. With two games lost, we need to win.”
About the lineup for the game against Real Madrid:
“I don’t take the name of the opponent into account. The next opponent is always the most important. Yes, you have to try to get each player to their best level. That’s why I said it was impossible for Ansu to play three full games in seven days.”
About Coutinho’s comeback:
“Philippe has been away from the pitch for a long time and he also has to play minutes to improve physically. We know about his quality, there’s competition in his position in midfield and also in attack. He has to find his place but he is an important player for the next games.”
About the option of signing Dani Alves:
“I don’t know anything about this topic. Nobody from the club has told me about the possibility and I don’t want to answer.”
About the latest developments of Ansu Fati’s contract renewal:
“It’s true that they’re getting closer. This is very important news. He is a young player with a lot of quality. He’s one of the players who have to make their mark on the future of this club.”