Barcelona LaLiga

Koeman: Messi is the most important man in Barça’s history

The team celebrating Messi’s first goal. (Source: FC Barcelona)

Barça beat 20th placed Huesca to rise to 2nd in LaLiga standings, only 4 points behind Atlético Madrid. Ronald Koeman, Pedri, and Ronald Araujo all spoke after the 4-1 win, which featured goals from Messi, Griezmann, and Mingueza.

Here is what Ronald Koeman had to say:

On the team’s intensity
We did what we had to do. We lowered our intensity a bit in the second half, but it was a good victory.

On whether winning LaLiga is a possibility
I’ve always said that it was. We lost points but we reacted well. We have lost many points and we cannot lose any more.

On Huesca’s penalty
It lasted four or five minutes. And if the VAR checks it, it is not a penalty. I do not understand how you can whistle a penalty and complicate it. Again, I don’t understand the VAR. The penalty is crazy. I don’t know how he was able to whistle it. The VAR has seen it, but it is clear that ter Stegen does not touch the forward.

On Messi
I can’t say more about Messi. He has equaled Xavi. He is the most important man in the history of Barça and luckily he is still with us.

On what his team has improved at
We have decreased our mistakes. That gives you confidence, you position yourself better on the field and the three center-backs have given us support defensively and have given us quality.

On if he thinks it will be possible not to lose more games this season
It will be very difficult. There are many teams that can complicate our lives. There is no easy game.

On Mingueza’s goal
We are not usually too good in aerial plays but it was a nice goal from a corner.

On the increased volume of long distance goals
We have worked on finishing in training, and finishing from outside the area is always a possibility. If you don’t shoot, you won’t score. It’s important because, against teams who play with many defenders in their own box, it’s possible to find a pass to break the lines but what’s important is finishing the play.

Here is what Pedri had to say:

On today’s win
We took the three points, which was the important thing. We knew that the leader had dropped points and we are already four behind Atlético Madrid.

On the team’s chances to win LaLiga
I have always said that we will not give up on the title. We will continue working because we have a group and a team to win the League. I prefer to focus on us and add three points at a time.

On Messi
Playing with Leo is a joy. I enjoy it every day. I try to find him and for me he is the best. If you give it to him, something will happen.

On how he received the news of his first call-up to the Spanish national team
I was at my house with my parents, waiting for a surprise. I will go to enjoy it a lot because it is a pride to be able to represent my country. Everything is happening fast, but I will continue working so that many more things come.

Here is what Araujo had to say:

On the team’s sensations after tonight’s win
The team is very good. When the results were bad, we said that we were going to come back and fight for all the titles. The pity is that the Champions League has been lost, but we have the League there and we have to fight it. We have a team to do it. We are Barça, it is our goal and it is not far from us.

On his relapse against Sevilla
I reappeared against Sevilla, but I didn’t feel comfortable. Now I have returned and I have to work for when the team needs me. I am happy for the victory. It was important to add the three points to stay close to the top.