After being assigned as a new Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman has to deal with an unhappy Lionel Messi. He released his thoughts on Sport this Tuesday.

Ronald Koeman had a successful time at Southampton, Everton, and the Netherlands national team before becoming the Barcelona coach. The former famous defender also had played for Barcelona in 6 years when he was competing. He moved to the Spaniard giant with the hope of reviving the legacy of Johan Cruyff’s soccer there.  Nonetheless, his very first task with the team was to convince Lionel Messi to stay with the club. Koeman finally assured that he could keep Lionel Messi with the team which was an accomplishment for the Dutchman.

The Dutchman denied that he had any effect on Messi’s decision. “They’d already told me Messi was unhappy. We spoke at his house. He explained his reasons and I was honest. I told him that the only things I could change were football things: the system of play, his position on the pitch, his importance in the team. But the issues he had with the club, I could not change them. In the end, he decided to stay, but it was his decision,” Koeman said in Sport.

According to Koeman, the only thing he tried to do was to convince Messi that the system would change, and his role at the club remained solely important. Former Barcelona’s dream team member also added that he was impressed with Messi’s passion for the game.

“He has demonstrated to me that he’s a person that wants to win things, be the best, and continue being the best, even though he’s had his problems with the club,” he said. “I want the best for the team. And the best for the team is that Leo is good, as he is now, motivated and involved. He showed that the other day, against Real Betis, when he came on in the second half. The team has to learn to look for the best for the team, but right now, Barça has been, are, and will be a better team with Messi than without Messi.”

Messi still showed his class at the age of 33.

The Argentine striker has been an important part of Barcelona since his promotion to the first time in 2003 under Frank Rijkaard’s management. He was playing along with other Barcelona’s legends such as Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o before grabbing the famous number. 10 from Ronaldinho.

With Lionel Messi in the squad, Barcelona has won a total of 34 trophies since 2004. Koeman has the right to admit that Messi is a key player to Barca’s success. The striker was always a sole piece of Barca’s squad, and he has scored 651 goals for the Spanish side. Besides sharing his thoughts about Lionel Messi, Koeman confessed that he was having a bad time dealing with Luis Suarez’s transfer.

“It’s nicer to say to Pedri that he’s going to play against Real Madrid than to communicate these types of decisions. I spoke with the club, there had to change. You can always debate everything, but at every moment I made it clear that if the player decided to stay, he would be part of the squad,” Ronald Koeman said.

Anyway, Lionel Messi has not showcased his best soccer yet. The Argentine players have only scored 6 goals this season, and most of them come from penalty. Goal revealed that Barcelona might have to sell their best player in order to balance the fiscal deficit. Ronald Koeman is happy with his captain,  but it does not ensure his stay in Barcelona in the next season of 2021-2022.

Manchester City and PSG could be a potential destination for Messi. The number. 10 player also hinted that he could move back home to Newell’s Old Boy and end up his career in the shirt of Le Lepra.

via Bleacher Report and other Sources


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