Ronald Koeman faced the press before Barça’s game against Eibar on Tuesday, here is what he had to say;
It is a very competitive team that tries to put pressure on the contrary. In terms of football, we have to be good compared to the last game. We have to be good otherwise we will have a very difficult game.
About Messi’s vacation
First, Leo had ankle discomfort and that is why he has not been able to train and is not in a position to play tomorrow’s game. And that’s why we have given him more vacation days. In principle, he returns after the game from Eibar, our doctor has told us that a week without training will be enough for him to be well.
About the Messi interview with Jordi Èvole
I have not seen the interview but today it has appeared in the press and I have seen it. It is perfect that he can do an interview to express his opinions, like any other player. I am calm, and I will not be more calm because he said that he will decide at the end of the season. I cannot influence, what we can do is get his best performance in the games and we will see what can happen. I don’t know but I appreciate his words because he is a very important player and anyone likes him to speak well of himself. I thank him. I am still the same. I try to move the team forward, we are making changes in a transition year and he is still a key part of the team.
About Pochettino, PSG and Messi
I don’t know, I can’t comment because his name comes out in the press but I don’t know if it’s true. We will face each other in two months, it’s not to be calm or uneasy now. Messi I don’t think he will decide his future depending on a coach or a country. They are decisions that have to be taken as a family and I don’t think that a coach can influence their destiny.
About the team rest
There are three training sessions and we knew that due to the COVID issue, we had to do the first training session on the 27th individually. Sometimes a break is training for a player. In such a tight schedule, you have to rest to be with their family and disconnect from football. Physically they are at their peak and with two training sessions after three or four days of partying is not a problem. If it were a problem, we would not have given them those days.
We will give the list tomorrow after training but he is fine, he has been training for days with the team, he has also worked well when we were in Valladolid and in principle he will be called up tomorrow.
About signings and withdrawals
We are talking about the team, where to improve, where there are players who do not have any minutes or games, what is best for them. But it is not definitive, so I do not like to talk about individual cases. Our job is to prepare and when there is a president, we will have to finish it.
About the 3-5-2 tactical system
You can talk a lot about a system but the most important thing is the energy and the work of the players. Any system can be attacking but it can also be very defensive, it depends on the attitude of the team.
On the tactical system and the absence of Messi
Not having Messi is always an important loss due to his quality and effectiveness, because of our game in attack we lose a great player, but it is not a system because of him, he is a part of a system, and we have enough players who can play in their position and do the same, and hopefully they get the same effectiveness.
About Griezmann and Coutinho
Of course we lack a player who can be effective and if we lack this, we need other players who will be in their best form in football and also according to their effectiveness in front of the goal.
About the year 2020 for him
It has been a quiet first year, being a coach that cannot be compared with the role of a coach in a club like Barça, then I had my heart problems, then COVID. In every way, it has been a tough year. In sports, I am in a place where I would like to be for a long time and I am enjoying it, but it is also complicated place because of the things we have talked about. In every way, I hope that next year we will be better on the subject of the COVID and in the subject of the Club.
What I have seen of Pedri to date, of knowing his character and personality is an example of how someone has to bring up the issue of being very good at this age, of coming to a club like Barca and playing. Surely no one could wait for him. As a coach and my staff, we help him and give him opportunities and advice. Pedri is a boy from a very humble family where he knows what he has to do to improve and not think that he is there. He has a great future, but a great future always exists when you keep working like now.
About the Winter departures
The issue is to prepare ourselves and if there is something we like or a young player should play minutes for half a year in another team, first we talk with the player, because in the end, each player has the decision of whether they want to go or not. We give advice to young players who for whatever reason have no minutes. Hopefully one week is enough for what we want.
About Messi’s interview with Èvole and if Koeman was clear that he wanted to be a coach
It always depends on the person. In my last years as a footballer I was thinking about what to do later. If you can’t continue as a player, the closest thing is to be coach, but it goes with the person. If Leo has said that he sees himself more as a Sports Director, very good, it is the best for Barça when he stops playing that he continues working at the club because he has a great experience and can help the rest a lot of people from the Club. In what position is not my decision.