Barcelona Game Previews LaLiga Press conferences

Koeman: “I don’t work to stay long but for the Catalans to be happy with the team’s image”

Ronald Koeman during the press conference before the round of 16 second leg fixture against PSG (Source : Miguel Ruiz/FCB)
Ronald Koeman during the press conference (Source : Miguel Ruiz/FCB)

Prior to the international break, FC Barcelona face Real Sociedad away from home in LaLiga on Sunday. Ronald Koeman sat down for a press conference on Saturday, where he talked about the match against Sociedad, Laporta, Haaland and more.

Thoughts on the match against Real Sociedad?

“It is true that this is the third game that we are going to play against them. It is a strong team. They are one of the best in this league and always want to build and put pressure on the rival. There were many interesting things in the other two games. The other two games were fairly even and means that it will be complicated.”

On the joy with the arrival of Laporta

“It is important that there is a president and a future. Now we can talk and it is a peace of mind to have someone who is the face of the club from inside and out. And it is the same for us, play, prepare and win. But it is important to have Laporta as president.”

On the message of confidence from Laporta

“It is important to highlight our work. He already told me after the Paris game on the plane that he has confidence in me, but this may change if there are bad results in the future. We have to keep working and hopefully it will last for a long time.”

On Tusquets’ continuing support for him

“I know Mr. Tusquets well. We have talked about several things in recent times and also about the issue of salaries. He had to understand the economic situation and I, as someone from the club, was willing to help in any sense. I thank him for his words. It doesn’t change much for me, because I’m comfortable. I don’t work to stay long but for the Catalans to be happy with the team’s image. And for me it’s the most important thing.”

On aiming for the league and the cup title

“I don’t like to talk about a double. This changes very quickly. Not a very long time ago we were bad and there was nothing good. We have to keep working, game by game. We are four points behind and there is a very difficult schedule ahead. There is a long way to go to win a lot of things. The team is focused on tomorrow’s game and it is more important than the one in three weeks.”

On the team’s exceptional form away from home in the league

“There is always room to improve things but we must highlight our trajectory in these games. We had to do it because of the difference of points with Atlético. We can aspire to achieve something but we have to continue working for it.”

On Reale Arena being a difficult and decisive visit

“I don’t think it is the most decisive but each game that we do not win can cost us. It is a complicated field against an opponent who plays very well with a coach with very good aspects in his game, but it is also very interesting. You can see it from two sides: it is a complicated field where we have to be at our level best and tactically it is also interesting.”

On crowds being allowed for Barca B games but not for the first team

“I understand that there is this difference. We have people who can decide what is the best way to take the next step for having people in the stadium. I see it well that Barça B has 1,000 people and it is one more step. You have to have confidence in the government, they know what is the best way to have people in the stadiums.”

On Erling Haaland

“It is not a time to talk about a player who is not ours, out of respect for his club. There is talk of signings but I don’t like to talk about it right now and I need to focus on tomorrow’s game and the players that we have. We will talk in the next weeks about where we can improve but I will not answer for players who are not ours.”

On whether or not the Cup final will have an influence on Real Sociedad

“I don’t believe so, because after this match day week, there is an international break and the team will have enough time to prepare for the final against Athletic de Bilbao. They had a week to prepare for tomorrow’s match. We expect a strong rival and we have to prepare ourselves.”

On Messi and De Jong being one card away from suspension

“It is what it is and I am not going to reserve anyone. I hope they can continue and do not see a card. If they get the fifth yellow, another player will come out. Both are very good and Leo makes the difference. But tomorrow’s game is very important.”

On the possible meetings with Laporta

“It is true that after tomorrow’s game, we have a break and we will have time to talk about the future of this team. We will take advantage of these two weeks to talk about players, signings, get to know each other and it is a time to be more together.”

On Ansu Fati’s injury and possible return

“He is working in the gym and will continue in the following weeks but he is young and it is important that he recovers well.”