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Koeman: “We have to show that we are good enough without Leo”

Memphis Depay celebrates scoring Barça’s first goal during the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Juventus / Eric Alonso / Getty Images

FC Barcelona defeated Juventus 3-0 to win the Joan Gamper Trophy in the first game of the post-Messi era on Sunday night, courtesy of goals from Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, and Riqui Puig. Manager Ronald Koeman and center back Gerard Piqué spoke after the game.

Here is what Koeman had to say:

On the win, which wrapped the team’s pre-season competition

“We had a good game against a strong team, especially defensively. Very good in the first half, we scored quickly thanks to Memphis, but we also lost control and lost the ball during many phases of the game. Neto has been phenomenal. It was important to win and I think the team is almost done to start the season.”

On his message to the team following Messi’s departure from the club Sunday afternoon

“Before the game I told the players that it had been a very emotional day because of Leo’s farewell, but we are professionals and we want the best for the club. We have to turn the page and show that we are good as a team and we can have a good championship [without Messi].”

On the team’s tactics without Messi

“It is important to have the best, but we don’t change our ideas or the way we play either. Griezmann has played in his position and he has done well.”

On Yusuf Demir, who started in the midfield and assisted Memphis’ goal

“It is always important for young people to seek positions. We know that he is a talent and he can show that he can play in the midfield. He had a good game, and he is one of the young people who are important for the first team.”

On the rumors that Sergio Agüero wants to leave Barça due to Messi’s departure

“It is not true that he wants to leave. He has signed and is excited. Too bad he was injured this morning. We have to wait for his recovery. It is a step back, he was training. He can contribute a lot.”

Here is what Piqué had to say:

On the fans whistling at Samuel Umtiti when he first came on the field and touched the ball

“It is a very complicated situation. People have every right to express themselves, but also if we were in their situation, there would be many who would try to fight what is their turn and for what they have signed. I understand that people express themselves, but I would tell them that we all row together. Whistles don’t help, no matter how disappointed people are.”

On the win over Juventus

“[The team played] a very good game because they have had more chances than the rival, and the feelings are good in a strange game because of everything that has happened.”

On Messi being forced to leave Barça on Sunday

“It is not one of the best days. You know that one day it has to happen. Life goes on, and people want to watch football and enjoy the team. Today we gave him a good show, and we really want to do it well. It is clear that at the talent level we will not be the same.”

“It is a mental blow, it has done us badly. Messi, too. We lose the best of all time. The team must adapt, there is talent. The management of recent years has not been the best, that penalizes us. But history shows that we will get up.”

On what brings the team together after losing Messi

“We wear the Barça shirt, and that forces us to compete.”

On the end of pre-season and the upcoming season

“The game is good and gives confidence. It can be a good year, and we have the hope of doing it well.”

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