Thrilling semifinal shows Barcelona’s strength

Ter Stegen and Riqui Puig celebrating win against Real Sociedad / FC Barcelona

After a very even match against Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona will move on to the Spanish Super Cup final awaiting their next rival. Following the game, Ronald Koeman and a few key players spoke with press, here is a quick look at their statements.

Ronald Koeman:

On the match

“Real Sociedad is a strong team, that apply pressure very well. Like the day we played against them at the Camp Nou, we have had many one-on-one throughout the field. So you can never play calmly from behind. It was difficult for us to get into the game, but little by little we have improved. Both teams have had our chances.”

Regarding how they played

“We are improving our game, but also our concentration and mentality. Do your best to win a match. We are on the right track. For young players it is important to have played a game like this, experience wise.”

On how he chose the order of penalty takers

“I had four names on the paper and I asked who wanted to shoot the fifth, the last one to win. And Riqui Puig has raised his hand decisively.”

On Ter Stegen

“He has been fantastic. He made important saves during the game to save the team and in the end we saw his quality again in the shootout. In a shoot-out you have to have a great goalkeeper and he has saved the first two.”

Regarding De Jong

“I believe that before he was already a great player, I have already said other times that a midfielder also needs to go forward in the opposite area, you cannot expect effectiveness only from the forwards. He has scored another goal and is on the right track.”

On Araujo’s performance

“He’s improving a lot in a short time, especially in his confidence and play with the ball. He is on a good track. He is very young, he is the future of the club. If he keeps his feet on the ground and is humble, he will go a long way.”

Regarding Messi

“I don’t know, we have to wait two three days, recover from the 120 minutes played and hopefully everyone is ready. It is true that we have one more day of rest than the other finalist, but with this calendar it does not count for much, all the teams make many trips and we will see if we can recover well.”

This is what Riqui Puig had to say:

On his determination

“The coach has designated four and the fifth was missing, and I was the first to say that I wanted to shoot.”

Regarding his mentality

“I was waiting for the moment to celebrate a goal with the first team and I am happy because we are making a very good performance and we deserved it.”

On his lack of minutes

“You have to believe in yourself. I never lose the desire to play, especially being in the first team. It has cost me a lot to get here and nobody is going to take away the illusion of succeeding here. If they give me a moment in each game I will take advantage of it; and if not, then the next day I’ll work.”

Ter Stegen also spoke with the press:

Regarding the penalty shoot-out

“Well, I hadn’t studied them (the penalty takers). I knew that Oyarzábal has a lot of experience. In the end it is a little different. Very happy for the game. But I could have saved some more penalties. Real Sociedad have been a tough rival.”

His analysis of the match

“In the first 25 minutes they pressed us very hard and they did it very well. It took us a lot to get out, but little by little we found spaces and we played between the lines. They got tired and we were able to dominate the ball more.”

On his performance

“I always want to be 100%. You have to win these games. And I’m very happy to be able to help the team.”

Regarding De Jong’s handball

“I don’t know if it touched Frenkie’s hand, but there are a lot of cameras. If it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty.”

This is what Ronald Araujo said:

On the match

“It is not the way we wanted, we always want to win well, it was a difficult rival and I am very happy to play a final and the first final with this club”

On his recent form

“I work every day to help the team, play well, correct my past mistakes and move on. We are Barca and we want to play and win.”

On Ter Stegen

“He is still flying. He is a crack, for me the best goalkeeper in the world and happy to have him with us. He helps me a lot, the way I position myself defensively. Happy because he helped us a lot defensively and he very important”

On the penalty shoot-out

“I like to kick but I felt tired and with the discomfort I had I did not feel very confident to kick. There were teammates who were well and could score a goal to take us to the final.”