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Koeman: “I have said from day one that I want to continue, fulfill my contract”

Ronald Koeman during the press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB
Ronald Koeman during the press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB
Ronald Koeman during the press conference / Miguel Ruiz FCB

FC Barcelona face Eibar in their final LaLiga game on Saturday, ahead of what promises to be a long summer for the Blaugranas. Ronald Koeman spoke to the press before the match, talking about Messi, his continuity, future plans and much more.

Here’s what the Barça coach had to say:

On the upcoming match

“It is the last game of the season and we will try to win with intensity, although we cannot do more in the league. It’s the last game and I would like to end this season on a winning note.”

On his continuity

“I don’t know, really. I haven’t talked to the president since the lunch a week ago. We met to talk and I said from day one that I want to continue, fulfill my contract and the president has the last word. Let’s see.”

On the club management

“In the last month you have to respect the coach more, our players. I understand that they do not deserve this treatment, rather much more respect. There are many things that have to be done differently.”

On if he has been shown respect and trust by the club

“In the last part of the season I did not notice it. We have not talked about the future and I understand that there are doubts about the latest results. We have to talk. We have to win things at Barça, I understand it, but I have always shown my face being the the only spokesperson for the club. If in the end we don’t win and they think we need another coach and other players, I think they will have to communicate it.”

On if he’ll demand the compensation for his remaining year

“You do not have to answer in advance. We are older and we love this club a lot. But in the end the president sets the direction in every way. I am going to talk to the president. I am a person who loves the club very much and if the club thinks that I shouldn’t continue, I’ll talk to them. Until I talk to the president, I can’t answer these kinds of questions.”

On the outlook of his first year at Barça

“In general, if you talk about the season and where we were in August, we’ve come a long way. We won a title, we fought to win the League until two or three games ago. The problem has been from 2021 when we won the Cup and the way we cut back on points. Yes, we are sad, but with all the problems we have had this season it is not bad, it is not very good either, knowing everything we were up against.”

On playing without Messi and Pedri

“There are three or four players who have made a tremendous effort in every sense. I don’t want to say that the others have not, but Frenkie, Pedri and Messi have played every minute. Pedri goes to the Euros and Leo has the Copa America and physically I have to protect these players. De Jong, who was suspended the other day, will be in Eibar.”

On his plans for the next season

“I have done what I must as a coach, plan preseason, signings, transfers… until today after the break I have spoken with Planes, Alemany about details of the next season. It is my job and I would like to do it. I do it for the love of the club and my job, nothing more.”

On Messi’s continuity

“I hope he will continue here for many years, this season he has once again shown that he is unique. As a person and as a professional, a 10. I hope he continues. We have to train other players, seek more effectiveness from the team. Leo has scored 30 goals in the league this season, with him the team has much more future.”

On the importance of knowing when to retire

“The players are not stupid, they know perfectly what they can give to this club and they know more or less when they are in their last years or months. The age in football is not forgiving. But they deserve good treatment and respect. You know that they don’t have 8 years ahead of them.”

On self-criticism and analysis of the season

“Yes, I do self-criticism. I am responsible for the changes, for the young players who have been given opportunities, for the moments in which we have not been good. The last few weeks of this season have hurt us. But we had many things against us. We have to analyze everything that we’ve done. I don’t think I’m the best coach for this club, no, there are better coaches depending on the players and the team, but I see myself very capable of continuing to be the coach.”

On the changes required in the current squad

“From the first day we said that we wanted to change things but the path is not done in a year, it takes more time, to change things in the squad and make it stronger and look for players who give us more effectiveness. Atlético has a ready-made squad, not us. That’s why we talked to Alemany and Planes, we have an idea and a plan to fight for all the big titles.”

On if he regrets signing as the Barça coach

“No, never. My dream has always been to coach Barça and I am very happy about it even to this day. There is a lot of pressure, that is known, but in this country the coaches are highly criticized. I want to continue, but we have to talk.”

On the imminent decision about his future

“The most important thing for the club is that after tomorrow’s game they talk, it is important for the club and for me. And starting from there, the work must be done to have a competitive team next season.”

On the players possibly leaving the club this summer

“What we talk about is talked on the inside. In this club there are too many things that cannot come out. If we consider that a player does not have to continue, out of respect, you have to tell them, or their representatives. It is my way of being and that is how I want to continue.”

On this being a hard week for the dressing room

“For the players it is a difficult week. The atmosphere is not the best right now, it is clear. It has been painful for some players what happened in the last days, it is normal. It is necessary to talk about the new situation, the future.”

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