Ronald Koeman, Head Coach of FC Barcelona looks on during the Joan Gamper Trophy match on September 19, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain /ALEX CAPARROS /GETTY IMAGES

Ronald Koeman spoke about Messi, Suárez, his health, and more in an interview he did with Dutch news outlet NOS.

Koeman (57) had a decent start to his time as the FC Barcelona manager, winning two out of three La Liga games with his team scoring eight goals and conceding just one.

ON BARÇA CAPTAIN LIONEL MESSI

“He does everything I expect from him as a player and as a captain.”

“After becoming the Barça manager, I immediately reached out to Leo. I visited him at his house and talked to him about his future. He was clear about his dissatisfaction. I think you shouldn’t underestimate everything that happens around him, he is the greatest player in the world. That’s the way I see it.”

“He sees everything, where the spaces are, what options he has at the last moment and he also has the capabilities to effectuate what he sees. I’m super happy that he stayed.”

ON FORMER BARÇA STRIKER LUIS SUÁREZ

“It was very difficult for him to get playing time, I told him that in all honesty. He found it very difficult, but I didn’t have any problems with him. He trained well.”

“In the end, he made the decision to leave. I told him that if he didn’t leave, for whatever reason, he would be part of the group. Then he would have to prove to me that I was wrong. He could have stayed.”

ON MESSI DEFENDING SUÁREZ ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“It’s a logical reaction, that’s also what I said to Messi. I understand he is disappointed, their families also hang out outside of football, but these are the decisions of the club.”

ON REJUVENATING THE SQUAD

“I’m good with Luis, but the club felt that we had to rejuvenate the squad. You can see that already, Ansu Fati plays, he is only 17 years old. We also have Pedri (17), who gets his chances. Ronald Araújo is only 21 years old, Francisco Trincão often comes on as a substitute and is 20. We also signed Sergiño Dest, who is just 19. Those are all players for our future.”

ON BEING THE BARÇA MANAGER

“You can’t take it for granted. FC Barcelona is, possibly together with one or two others, the biggest club in the world. I have a history at this club, every time I came back, it felt like coming home. There is a lot of love between me, the club and the fans, so it’s amazing to get this opportunity.”

ON SIGNING FELLOW DUTCHMEN

“The situation when Louis van Gaal was the manager was extreme. I don’t think it’s comparable. We have Frenkie (de Jong) and obviously me and Alfred (Schreuder) in the staff, two Dutchmen, but back then, there were eight or nine. Dest is American. Hopefully, we’ll get a second Dutch player.”

“Georginio Wijnaldum was on my list.”

ON HIS HEALTH

“According to the cardiologist, there’s no problems. I’m doing well, I’m healthy, just like I expected.”